On authors who were publishing information technology panopticon concerns in the 1980s, or earlier

A quickie dump.

Paul Baran / RAND

  • "On the Engineer's Responsibility in Protecting Privacy"

  • "On the Future Computer Era: Modification of the American Character and the Role of the Engineer, or, A Little Caution in the Haste to Number"

  • "The Coming Computer Utility -- Laissez-Faire, Licensing, or Regulation?"

  • "Remarks on the Question of Privacy Raised by the Automation of Mental Health Records"

  • "Some Caveats on the Contribution of Technology to Law Enforcement"

Largely written/published 1967--1969.

rand.org/pubs/authors/b/baran_

Willis Ware / RAND

Too numerous to list fully, 1960s --1990s. Highlights:

  • "Security and Privacy in Computer Systems" (1967)

  • "Computers in Society's Future" (1971)

  • "Records, Computers and the Rights of Citizens" (1973

  • "Privacy and Security Issues in Information Systems" (1976)

  • "Information Systems, Security, and Privacy" (1983)

  • "The new faces of privacy" (1993)

rand.org/pubs/authors/w/ware_w

Misc

Shoshana Zuboff, In the Age of the Smart Machine: The Future of Work and Power (1988) Notably reviewed in the Whole Earth Catalog's Signal: Communication Tools for the Information Age (1988).

worldcat.org/title/in-the-age- archive.org/details/inageofsma

"Danger to Civil Rights?", 80 Microcomputing (1982)

archive.org/stream/80_Microcom (news.ycombinator.com/item?id=1)

"Computer-Based National Information Systems: Technology and Public Policy", NTIS (September 1981)

govinfo.library.unt.edu/ota/Ot

"23 to Study Computer ‘Threat’" (1970)

nytimes.com/1970/03/12/archive

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

"Privacy and Information Technology" bibliography is largely 1990--present, but contains some earlier references.

plato.stanford.edu/entries/it-

Similarly "Privacy"

plato.stanford.edu/entries/pri

Credit Reporting / Legislation

US Privacy Act of 1974

justice.gov/opcl/privacy-act-1

Invasion of Privacy Act 1971 - Queensland Government, Australia

legislation.qld.gov.au/view/pd

Arthur R. Miller, The assault on privacy: computers, data banks, and dossiers

archive.org/details/assaultonp

"The Computer, the Consumer and Privacy" (1984)

nytimes.com/1984/03/04/weekinr

Richard Boeth / Newsweek

The specific item I'd had in mind:

Richard Boeth, "Is Privacy Dead", Newsweek, July 27, 1970

thedailybeast.com/articles/201

Direct PDF: assets.documentcloud.org/docum

Based on an HN comment: news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2

@dredmorbius People have been concerned about computers and their effects on privacy for a long time, but it's only within the last decade that it has become a tangible problem for the average person.

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@bob It seems to run in waves, particularly as new technologies come online.

There was a wave ov awareness that began amongst domain experts in the 1960s and spread to the general public in the 1970s, largely as mainframe data processing revolutionised business practices.

There were earlier pulses, notably with telephony, as practices, norms, legislation, and caselaw emerged (largely around tap-and-trace). You could look earlier to telegraphy and post offices (often surveillance mechanisms themselves).

Since the mid-1970s, you've had a gradual replacement of "The Computer", a singular system, with a general distributed net of "computers", or "The Net" (or Web, or Mesh, or Cloud). During the 1980s -- 1990s, the principle issues seemed to revolve around either PC malware or targeted high-level hacks (see Clif Stoll's The Cuckoo's Egg).

Starting in the early 2000s, large-scale data aggregation, to the scale of KB to MB per person within a large country, or worldwide, was becoming tractable at the scale of a relatively small business. (Credit profiling itself dates to the 19th century.) Bandwidth, latency, datacentre scale, and programming was making a confluence of activities (adtech, social media, profiling, surveillance, computational propaganda) possible. Whilst sinking the revenue model of traditional media.

Technology enables. What it enables is often not beneficial.

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