Book: “Understanding Privacy”

Comic of a person staring into space for ages, briefly frantically typing, and resuming staring into space

I am currently wrapping up writing a book on privacy for web professionals which will be published by Smashing Magazine. I was hoping to have it done in 2020, but the coronavirus outbreak forced a rethink, as the above cartoon captures in a painfully accurate way.

In the book, I have done my best to explain what I have experienced working on privacy from every angle – human rights, law, policy, and web development – in the simplest way possible, and in the most positive way possible, in ways you can comprehend, use, and adapt in your work on the web right away. It’s why I’ve called it “Understanding Privacy”: it’s as much about my learning journey as it is about the one you will begin when you read it.

What I aim to do is provide is an introduction to the beliefs, concepts, and ideas which inform privacy as it exists – or has failed to exist – on the web. The book is not a legal reference, nor is it a code manual. It is about the fundamental values of privacy as a concept which precede privacy as a legal compliance issue. It’s about the ways these concepts impact your work as a designer, a developer, or a project manager. And it’s about the ways you can adopt those values to create a healthy, user-centric approach to privacy in everything you do, regardless of the presence or absence of privacy legislation.

You can read an excerpt here.

I will update this page with news on publication dates and pre-ordering as soon as I’m able. We’re shooting for a late summer 2021 release.

While you’re waiting, have a browse at the previous books in the Smashing shop. They’re as good as they look.

Book publication update: