(Photo by Flickr user Doramon, used under a Creative Commons license)
The digital age has brought with it a mountain of privacy concerns — barely a week goes by that consumer information isn’t compromised by a breach or a company isn’t caught sharing data improperly — not to mention the privacy implications of the smart devices in our homes (and pockets).
According to Sarah E. Igo, an associate professor in history at Vanderbilt University, concerns like these go back at least a century, to a time long before Alexa.
Igo will give a free talk on the topic, based on her book The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Hagley Soda House Auditorium at the Hagley Museum and Library.
Going back to the late nineteenth century, Americans worried that popular journalism, government record-keeping, and police investigations could endanger their privacy. Her sweeping history, from the era of “instantaneous photography” to the age of big data, uncovers the surprising ways that debates over what should be kept out of the public eye have shaped U.S. politics and society. The book and her talk offer the first wide-angle view of privacy as it has been lived and imagined by modern Americans.
“Invasions of our privacy are not new,” said Roger Horowitz, director of Hagley’s Center for the History of Business, Technology, and Society, which organized the appearance as one of Hagley’s Author Talks. “We are fortunate to have the talented and eloquent Sarah Igo speak at Hagley to explain the long history behind them.”
Walk-ins are welcome, but RSVPs are encouraged. RSVP to Nicole Mahoney at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 302-658-2400, ext. 208.-30-
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