Synopses & Reviews
The first generation of “digital natives” – children who were born into and raised in the digital world – are coming of age, and soon our world will be reshaped in their image. Our economy, our cultural life, even the shape of our family life will be forever transformed.
But who are these digital natives? How are they different from older generations – or “digital immigrants” – and what is the world they’re creating going to look like? In Born Digital, leading internet and technology experts John Palfrey and Urs Gasser offer a sociological portrait of this exotic tribe of young people who can seem, even to those merely a generation older, both extraordinarily sophisticated and strangely narrow.
Based on original research, Born Digital explores a broad range of issues, from the highly philosophical to the purely practical: What does identity mean for young people who have dozens of online profiles and avatars? Should we worry about privacy issues – or is privacy even a relevant concern for digital natives? How does the concept of safety translate into an increasingly virtual world? Is “stranger-danger” a real problem, or a red herring? What lies ahead – socially, professionally, and psychologically – for this generation?
A smart, practical guide to a brave new world and its complex inhabitants, Born Digital will be essential reading for parents, teachers, and the myriad of confused adults who want to understand the digital present – and shape the digital future.
"In this critical but optimistic overview, academics Palfrey (of Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet & Society) and Gasser (of the Swiss U. of St. Gallen) share their concern about the legal and social ramifications of the Internet with regard to the generation of 'Digital Natives' born after 1980. In a wide-ranging examination of 'the future opportunities and challenges associated with the Internet as a social space,' Palfrey and Gasser find most young people fail to recognize the vulnerability of their information-that internet posts are never really private-and suggest tactful parental and school oversight. They find a more serious problem in the failure of the U.S. to regulate data mining by search engines, which even now have the potential to create cradle-to-grave dossiers on individuals, including online medical and financial records; they compare the U.S. system with Europe's policies, which have put in place much more effective data protection. Parents and educators will benefit from Palfrey and Gasser's discussion of issues like safety, content control and illegal file sharing; with proper attention from them, the authors see a bright future for the Internet that should foster 'global citizens' with a 'spirit of innovation, entrepreneurship and caring for society at large.'" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Two leading experts explain the brave new world inhabited by digital natives”-the first generation born and raised completely wired
About the Author
John Palfrey is Clinical Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. He is a regular commentator on network news programs, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, NPR and BBC. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Urs Gasser is an associate professor of law at the University of St. Gallen, where he serves as the director of the Research Center for Information Law, as well as a faculty fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. He has published and edited, respectively, six books and has written over fifty articles in books, law reviews, and professional journals. He lives in St. Gallen, Switzerland.