Privacy in the New Media Age

Jon L. Mills

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"Engaging and illuminating. This is an essential book for anyone concerned with the increasingly ubiquitous clashes between a technologically borderless world, free press, safety and personal privacy."--Charlotte Laws, board member, Cyber Civil Rights Initiative

"Mills explores possible modernization of the intrusion tort, calls for greater weight to be placed on human dignity interests, suggests redefining personal space to fit our times, and offers multiple approaches for recalibrating the delicate balance between press freedom and privacy rights."--Clay Calvert, coauthor of Mass Media Law

"The cases presented here range from politics to popular culture and violent crime and demonstrate the global complexity of related privacy issues, which are made even messier by the advent of new technologies such as the Internet, GPS, and bioinformatics."--Melody A. Bowdon, coeditor of Higher Education, Emerging Technologies, and Community Partnerships

Balancing personal dignity and first amendment concerns has become increasingly challenging in the new media age, when, for example, bloggers have no editors and perhaps no moral restraints. Unlimited and unrestricted internet speech has left thousands of victims in its wake, most of them silenced after the media cycle moves on. While the history of free speech and press has noble origins rooted in democratic theory, how does society protect those who are harassed, stalked, and misrepresented online while maintaining a free society?

Jon Mills, one of the nation's top privacy experts and advocates, maps out this complex problem. He discusses the need for forethought and creative remedies, looking at solutions already implemented by the European Union and comparing them to the obsolete privacy laws still extant in the United States. In his search for solutions, Mills closely examines an array of cases, some of them immediately recognizable because of their notoriety and extensive media coverage. In a context of almost instantaneous global communications, where technology moves faster than the law, Mills traces the sharp edge between freedom of expression and the individual dignity that privacy preserves.

Jon L. Mills is professor of law at the University of Florida, former dean of the Levin College of Law, and a former Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. His specialties are privacy and constitutional law, about which he has litigated high-profile cases. He is the author of Privacy: The Lost Right.

Explor[ing] the challenges of balancing privacy and free speech in American society. . . .Mills crafts a balancing test with eight discrete questions to determine how a conflict between media and privacy should be resolved, including who owns or controls the relevant information, how it was obtained, whether it is private and intrusive, and what was the intent of the media in publishing it.
--California Lawyer

Weaves stories of actual cases and case studies into the argument. . . .[that] new laws need to be created to allow for greater privacy for private acts and new remedies need to be created as current remedies are based on old technology and information gathering techniques.

A thought provoking exposition of the common law’s struggle to adapt in an environment of rapid technological change.
--Florida bar Journal

[Mills’] book is a valuable contribution to a debate that will continue into the unforeseeable future.
--Washington Lawyer

Makes the cogent case for an increased emphasis on privacy and human dignity.
--Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly

[This book] is packed with an in-depth discussion reviewing the history of freedom of speech and its interplay with privacy.
--Law Library Journal

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