cover of book

None of Your Damn Business: Privacy in the United States from the Gilded Age to the Digital Age
by Lawrence Cappello
University of Chicago Press, 2019
eISBN: 978-0-226-55788-5 | Paper: 978-0-226-81995-2 | Cloth: 978-0-226-55774-8
Library of Congress Classification BF637.P74C36 2019
Dewey Decimal Classification 323.448

Capello investigates why we’ve been so blithe about giving up our privacy and all the opportunities we’ve had along the way to rein it in.

Every day, Americans surrender their private information to entities claiming to have their best interests in mind. This trade-off has long been taken for granted, but the extent of its nefariousness has recently become much clearer. As None of Your Damn Business reveals, the problem is not so much that data will be used in ways we don’t want, but rather how willing we have been to have our information used, abused, and sold right back to us. In this startling book, Lawrence Cappello targets moments from the past 130 years of US history when privacy was central to battles over journalistic freedom, national security, surveillance, big data, and reproductive rights. As he makes dismayingly clear, Americans have had numerous opportunities to protect the public good while simultaneously safeguarding our information, and we’ve squandered them every time. None of Your Damn Business is a rich and provocative survey of an alarming topic that grows only more relevant with each fresh outrage of trust betrayed.

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