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The Spy in the Coffee Machine

The End of Privacy as We Know It

Kieron O'Hara Nigel Shadbolt

We are entering a new state of global hypersurveillance. As we increasingly resort to technology for our work and play, our electronic activity leaves behind digital footprints that can be used to track our movements. In our cars, telephones, even our coffee machines, tiny computers communicating wirelessly via the Internet can serve as miniature witnesses, forming powerful networks whose emergent behaviour can be very complex, intelligent, and invasive. The question is: how much of an infringement on privacy are they? Exposing the invasion of our privacy from CCTVs to blogs, The Spy in the Coffee Machine explores what—if anything—we can do to prevent it from disappearing forever in the digital age, and provides readers with a much needed wake-up call to the benefits and dangers of this new technology.

  • Publication date: April 25, 2008
  • ISBN: 9781851685547
  • RRP: £24.00
  • Pages: 280


" A striking and readable book"
Retain Security
"Shadbolt and O'Hara have kick-started a new debate about what we mean by privacy."
The Sunday Times
"Timely and balanced, their book The Spy in the Coffee Machine is a scary treatise about the way technology has eroded privacy and continues to do so … The chief lesson of this excellent and potent short book is that we have to learn how to live with these actualities."
New Scientist
"Though the questions around CCTV, blogs and the internet, and RFID (radio frequency identification) are complex - and without easy answers - the authors cover much ground, always readably"
Professional Security Magazine
"this book will give anyone concerned about the growing number of CCTV cameras in our streets or the way young people expose their secrets on Facebook a sound appreciation of the wider issues.
BBC Focus
"While critics have variously demanded control over the internet, the practical means have been ignored; O'Hara and Shadbolt readdress this, offering detailed accounts of how technology that threatens privacy can be used to protect it." Catherine Humble
The Times Literary Supplement

Nigel Shadbolt

Nigel Shadbolt is Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the University of Southampton, UK, and was President of the British Computer Society in its 50th anniversary year 2006-2007. He is Chief Technology Officer of internet security firm Garlik, and a director of the Web Science Research Initiative. He is both a chartered psychologist and a chartered engineer, and sits on a number of UK national science and technology committees.

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