The Hundredth Window

Protecting Your Privacy and Security In the Age of the Internet

The Hundredth Window

Foreword by: Elizabeth Dyson
Privacy, whether we like it or not, has gone public. We are only just beginning to recognize how the Internet has redefined the relationship between our private lives and the public sphere. Every time we personalize a Web site, join a mailing list, or purchase a book or CD online, we open our lives to an ever-widening data network that offers us scant protection from the prying eyes of corporations, governments, insurance companies, or criminals. Has the e-commerce revolution permanently eroded all personal boundaries, or is it still possible to protect one's personal information in an increasingly wired world?
Charles Jennings and Lori Fena have devoted their careers to this question, most notably as the founders of TRUSTe, the leading privacy assurance and monitoring organization on the Internet. They have been instrumental in developing standards for judging how Web sites use and protect the personal information they collect, and they have advised numerous corporations who recognize that trust is the key to economic growth and expansion in the e-commerce world.
Security experts often say that if you put bars across ninety-nine of your windows but leave the hundredth window open, the invaders can still get in. For computer privacy, then, the question becomes, How can you best monitor that hundredth window? Jennings and Fena answer that question by providing a comprehensive guide to privacy and security in today's fast-moving online world, identifying winning and losing strategies for users and businesses alike. They argue that with so much information about us accessible through the Internet, we now need to think of privacy less as an inalienable right and more as a personal skill to be practiced and sharpened regularly. And for companies doing business on the Web, they demonstrate the critical importance of ensuring a private and secure environment for one's customers.
The Hundredth Window is also an invaluable source of useful information for every citizen of the World Wide Web. Jennings and Fena offer their readers:
  • An unsparingly honest assessment of how many popular Web sites handle privacy protection
  • Guidelines for evaluating a site's trustworthiness
  • Tips and tricks for protecting your private information while surfing online
  • Strategies to avoid being followed on the Internet
  • An advance look at likely new technologies that could put your privacy at risk

Far from predicting the death of privacy, Jennings and Fena provide the tools and the perspective that will enable us all to preserve our privacy as we enter the twenty-first century, enabling us to enjoy the many benefits that the Internet can offer.
  • Free Press | 
  • 304 pages | 
  • ISBN 9780743254984 | 
  • April 2003
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Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Guide
Discussion Group Questions to accompany The Hundredth Window
How ready are you (and your company) to face the tough questions about privacy in the information economy?
1. What is your company's policy for personal data collection and usage?
2. Is there an officer of your company responsible for the development and implementation of the company's privacy (or fair information practices) policy?
3. Is there a map or diagram of what personal information is collected or purchased in the course of doing business, where it is stored, who has access, and for what purposes they may access the data?
4. Are all employees aware that the data collection/usage policy exists and trained on what their responsibilities are with respect to the policy?
5. Is there a procedure in place to deal with customer inquiries (or law enforcement inquiries) regarding collection and use of personal data?
6. Are processes in place to communicate your corporate privacy policy to customers, employees, vendors, and marketing partners?
7. Is responsible customer data collection practices part of the product management and marketing program checklist?
8. Is responsible customer data practices part of the due diligence checklist when your company considers acquiring, merging, or a strategic partnership with other companies?
9. How well would you rate your company on fair information practices of notice, consent, access and recourse?
10. see more