Virtual Shadows - your privacy in the information society. BCS book

Karen Lawrence Oqvist

“Web 2.0 and social networking sites are challenging traditional notions of privacy and security in cyberspace, at a time when surveillance and tracking in the real world have reached endemic proportions.

As the gap between virtual and reality becomes increasingly blurred by current and emerging technologies, the way we communicate and interact with one another is changing as well. But what are the implications for our privacy, and what impact will this have on our safety and security?

"Virtual Shadows" provides a fascinating glimpse into this brave new Information Society. It covers a diverse range of topics which span the 4 key areas of privacy (information, bodily, communications and territorial), where the rules of play have not yet been clearly defined, much less understood”

In truth this book is for someone who knows nothing about privacy, identity, the information society and worried about what will happen to all that data ‘society’ collects on you.  As presented in the preface, this is an MSc project and unfortunately reads like one. 

The few notable points include:

It assumes that the digital is a shadow of “you” and that the links and tags are a good representation, however, Karen does not bring the social graph and any representations or views of others on you.

The matrix of information (unstructured to structured) and identity (unlinked to linked) noting that the quadrant of structured and linked which includes, store cards, air miles, ID cards and RFID is the most valuable to you and others. 

The book does not distinguish between digital and physical data offered or captured by you for your own benefit, data types captured by other for your benefit and data types captured by others for their benefit.

If you come from scratch this is a good read, if you have any basic level of understanding on identity or privacy this is not for you, however, do have a look at Karen’s blog

Migrating some older blogs to My Digital Footprint - Original post from 2009