Private is Political

This week’s review looks at the risks social networks pose to privacy and how they further affect marginalized communities.

Private is Political: Networked Privacy and Social Media

Marwick, Alice E. Yale, 2023
384p bibl index, 9780300229622 $32.50

Private is Political book cover.

This book aims to shift discussion of privacy and information security from the realm of personal and individual responsibility to the dependence of privacy on social networks and political action. It will enrich every reader’s understanding of privacy and the social conventions that misleadingly treat privacy as each individual’s own responsibility while simultaneously entwining and monetizing their personal information in unavoidable networks. Marwick (Univ. of North Carolina) makes excellent use of feminist and other social analyses in documenting how social networks and conventions incorporate inequitable power relations, which disadvantage and jeopardize many marginalized demographics. The analyses and arguments are well researched, documented, and above all cogently and convincingly presented. This work will be a point of reference for all subsequent scholarly, journalistic, and political discussions of privacy and the dangers inappropriately mined and shared personal information pose. The clear presentation of research also makes it an appropriate introduction to the topics covered. It should be in every library collection.

Summing Up: Essential. All readership levels.
Reviewer
: D. Bantz, University of Alaska
Subject: Humanities – Communication
Choice Issue: Oct 2023


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