Archive for April 2017

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[ecrea] New book: Privacy and the Media

Thu Apr 27 22:36:24 GMT 2017

I’d like to introduce my new book /Privacy and the Media/, now out in paper and hardback with Sage.

Review copies available here <>and a sample chapter available here <>.

I argue that questions of privacy are now critical to the study of contemporary media and society, and that it is paramount we understand how information about ourselves is being collected, transmitted, processed and mediated. Each chapter uses case studies to illustrate particular arguments about privacy – which is a deceptively slippery premise. While dedicated privacy scholars (from media, politics, cultural studies, surveillance, law and information studies) will obtain fresh insights, I’ve kept this very student-friendly. In addition to ensuring clear and accessible language, each chapter contains key questions and think points, along with suggestions for further research.

As you’ll see below, some of the topics covered are familiar, but others are of a more emergent nature.**



Chapter 1 Introduction


Chapter 2 Nothing to hide, nothing to fear: myth and Western roots of privacy

Chapter 3 Journalism: a complex relationship with privacy

Chapter 4 The Snowden leaks: a call for better surveillance

Chapter 5 Encryption: simultaneously public and private


Chapter 6 Platforms: disruption, connection and new social actors

Chapter 7 Behavioural and programmatic advertising: consent, data alienation and problems with Marx

Chapter 8 The right to be forgotten: memory, deletion and expression

Chapter 9 Big data: machine learning and the politics of algorithms


Chapter 10 Empathic media: towards ubiquitous emotional intelligence

Chapter 11 Re-introducing the body: intimate and wearable media

Chapter 12 Being young and social: inter-personal privacy and debunking seclusion

Chapter 13 Sexting: exposure, protocol and collective privacy

Chapter 14 Conclusion: what do media developments tell us about privacy?



/Privacy and the Media/ is a thoughtful survey of the privacy landscape. McStay reviews the intricate tensions and seeming contradictions to offer an accessible book for anyone curious about the contemporary debates in privacy.

danah boyd

Microsoft Research (US)



This pleasingly accessible book tackles all the major questions that arise in a world whose lifeblood is our personal information; liberty, choice, transparency, control. It goes to the “conceptual, ethical and legal heart of privacy”. McStay argues that privacy is “not about isolation, going off-grid or being a digital hermit”. Rather, it is about managing our online lives and controlling how much others know about us. This book persuades me more than ever that privacy is a branch of ethics – the age-old relationship between the self and the other.Privacy and the Media’ is not a set of neatly answered questions or defences of established positions. It is a series of embarkation points for further exploration of an increasingly critical area of study, with real-world implications for the nature of our ‘datafied’ selves. The book will serve as a great introduction to informational privacy, not just for media studies students and privacy lawyers, but for any information rights professional needing a deeper understanding of the subject.

Iain Bourne

Information Commissioner's Office (UK)


The only book that addresses the full spectrum of the innovation-privacy dynamic, ranging from advertising to intelligence to wearables. It is both timely and necessary; essential reading.

Gus Hosein

Privacy International



McStay’s great achievement here is to confront many of the pertinent and complex questions about media and privacy in a style that is both authoritative and easy to read. He provides an excellent overview of the perennial debates and considers the implications on privacy of an increasingly data-driven media environment. His book will prove an excellent companion for all students of this fascinating and crucial topic.

Prof. Mireille Hildebrandt

Vrije Universitet Brussel

Clearly and accessibly written, this book is a great resource for anyone interested in the broad range of ways in which privacy and contemporary media are entangled and in the big picture of privacy/media relations today. It challenges media studies to take privacy seriously as a media – and a mediation – issue. I will definitely be assigning it for my students.

Prof. Helen Kennedy

University of Sheffield

Andrew McStay
Reader in Advertising and Digital Media
Director of Media and Persuasive Communication Network (MPC)
School of Creative Studies and Media
Bangor University

New book: Privacy and the Media (Sage, 2017) <><> Other books, bits and papers: here <>

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