The Digital Person – a book, a course, a life?

Some years ago, when working through digital reputation and privacy issues in social media, I read American legal academic Daniel Solove ‘s book “The Digital Person“. Though an exploration of American privacy laws in the digital age, many of his points are valid for Canadians. His point is that we face a kind of legal jeopardy because many of us share too much private information with the multi-national giants like Facebook and Google (What’s in your digital dossier? he asks). He also uses the metaphor about cataloguing our lives — including every mundane detail – and digital ‘clean-up’ twenty years from now will be difficult. Identity thieves have a field day~ Better to prevent them from doing so in the first place.

Solove’s book (now free), I see, has spawned a whole course on digital literacy entitled THE DIGITAL PERSON at La Salle University. The course covers the laws and means of protecting privacy, intellectual property and strategies for finding information in public records and databases. It covers the informed-use of social media such as wikis, blogs and search engines; data mining, and electronic voting. For yet another co-incidence, I see Jane Turk has published an evaluation of the course in a paper entitled “Computer literacy as life skills for a web 2.0 world“.


About smertlibrarians
We are a group of academic librarians interested in social media.

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