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NEW: Consumer's Handheld Guide to Privacy Protections from PRIVACY JOURNAL, an eBook that you can upload to your handhold device and consult whenever you are in the marketplace or at work, to see what privacy protections exist to help you.


Privacy Journal's books may be ordered directly from us in hard copy (or as e-mail attachments).

Or order through amazon.com. (Scroll to the link below.)

Kindle user? FIND "Kindle" on this Web page.

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where you can order the following publications direct:

Ben Franklin's Web Site

Compilation of State and Federal Privacy Laws


War Stories

Our Vanishing Privacy

Block Island Trivia

To order a subscription to Privacy Journal newsletter($125 a year), click on "To subscribe or to order a book" at the right of the screen. To order a book (add $4 per order for handling), click in the same place. Send us your credit card number, expiration date, name and delivery address, and the names of the publications you wish to order. Please include a phone number for our use in processing the order.






More Books

And More


Essential Books for Knowing All About Privacy

Special price this month: $17.50 for Compilation of State Privacy Laws with supplement

Compilation of State and Federal Privacy Laws

2013 book with a 2018 Supplement

This valuable 80-page reference book has just been updated, describing more than 800 state and federal laws on privacy and surveillance.

Place your order now for the new Supplement..

The 2018 SUPPLEMENT, issued in April 2018, includes more than 30 laws passed by state legislatures in the past 12 months.
A legal citation is included for each law. The laws are grouped by category, then listed alphabetically by state. Among the categories: bank records, credit bureaus, criminal records, electronic surveillance, employment, government agencies, identity theft, libraries, medical records, Social Security numbers, student records, telephone services, including telephone sales calls; testing in employment and tracking technologies. New this year to include state laws protecting residents from web site abuses, INTERNET SERVICES.

The book is "strongly recommended for all public libraries and law school libraries" by LIBRARY JOURNAL.

Published in 2013 (ISBN 0-930072-56-8), the book with the 2018 Supplement included sells for $41 plus $4 for shipping, or $40 for the electronic edition with the supplement.

The supplement alone is $34 hard copy, or $30 electronic.

In the supplement, new additions are highlighted for ease of research.

Use the order form below to order a one-year newsletter subscription at $65 and write "FREE SL" on your order before you send it.

The book describes scores of new laws on "security-breach notifications" (more than 40 of them), "credit freezes," ID theft, use of credit reports in employment, use of social-media passwords by employers, Social Security numbers (more than two dozen laws), "pretexting" to get telephone-calling records, and new state laws regulating drones and automobile data recorders, radio frequency identity technology (RFID), and biometrics. Compiled by Robert Ellis Smith, publisher of Privacy Journal and attorney at law.

A prime non-fiction seller on amazon.com

From our email in-box: "From Minneapolis: We've recently acquired your 'Compilation of State and Federal Privacy Laws' for our law firm's library, and it is a very impressive piece of work."

A New Book Just Published in March 2018:

by Publisher Robert Ellis Smith

Humorous and revealing glimpses of famous persons encountered in nearly six decades as a journalist and advocate for personal privacy and for civil rights. Castro, Kennedys, Hoffa, Steinem, LBJ, Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Richard Alpert, and many more. 100 pages, available on Kindle and from orders@​privacyjournal.net ($14.50).

Also available as a Kindle eBook.

NOW! A Consolidated Version of the Compilation and all Supplements. In pdf format. Includes original 2013 text and all supplements since, arranged in alpha order by state, in categories like Credit, Medical, Electronic Surveillance, Employment, Social Media, Tracking Technologies, and many more.

$14. Order now by email with a credit card or Paypal.

Compilation of State and Federal Privacy Laws 2016 Consolidated Edition

A handheld eBook including brief descriptions of more than 700 laws on credit reporting, financial records, Social Security numbers, employment records, library records, government records, telephone services, breastfeeding in public, identity theft, pre-employment inquiries, testing and more. Download this eBook and consult it, whenever you want, away from your home or office to know your privacy rights. Use it on your Smartphone, other mobile phone, or iPad. Available from us at orders@privacyjournal.net.

High Praise for "Ben Franklin's Web Site" from US Review of Books:

"Spotlighting the actions of average people and the public personalities that have propelled 'the silences in traditional history' with regard to personal privacy, Smith's well-documented historical-style narrative provides an academic context for classroom use, while his stirring and personable tone adds enough entertainment appeal to draw a wide variety of readers."

If you have read this far, you are entitled to a copy of the Ben Franklin book for $9.50!

Very high praise from The Wall Street Journal for "Ben Franklin's Web Site" by Robert Ellis Smith in 2007:

Here's what The Wall Street Journal said in 2007:

"Did you know that Ben Franklin wrote the country's first privacy law shortly after he set up the mail system? As it turns out, many new inventions were followed by new privacy laws. Privacy Journal publisher Robert Ellis Smith tracks this history in a fascinating and fact-filled journey."

Buy it now. Order the book by clicking on the book title to the right.

* * * *

50 Percent Discount on Any Books Ordered This Month

Ben Franklin's Web Site: Privacy and Curiosity From Plymouth Rock to the Internet

This engaging book by Robert Ellis Smith, publisher of Privacy Journal, explores the hidden niches of American history to discover the tug between Americans' yearning for privacy and their insatiable curiosity.

The book describes Puritan monitoring in Colonial New England, then shows how the attitudes of the founders placed the concept of privacy in the Constitution. This panoramic view continues with the coming of tabloid journalism in the Nineteenth Century, and the reaction to it in the form of a new right – the right to privacy. The book includes histories of wiretapping, of credit reporting, of sexual practices, of Social Security numbers and ID cards, of modern principles of privacy protection, and of the coming of the Internet and the new challenges to personal privacy it brings.

“A fascinating book, unsettling, illuminating. I felt privileged to be a footnote in such a work,” said James R. Petersen, author of The Century of Sex: Playboy’s History of the Sexual Revolution.

Smith’s “numerous books are required reading for anyone concerned about the ongoing threats,” said Simson Garfinkel in Database Nation.

“Smith’s practical advice and cool exterior belie his passion. Some have called him ‘the Ralph Nader of privacy,’” according to Dana Hawkins in U.S. News & World Report.

$17.50 in trade paperback hard copy.

ISBN 0-930072-14-6, 13-digit ISBN 9780930072148(407 pages), paper, with illustrations, index, bibliographic references, and table of cases. Ideal for classroom use. From Privacy Journal, or from amazon.com.

Order 'Ben Franklin's Web Site' from amazon.com. Click here:

AMAZON'S KINDLE hand-held reader

Our two most popular titles, the updated "Compilation of State and Federal Privacy Laws" and "Ben Franklin's Web Site," both by publisher Robert Ellis Smith are available on Kindle, amazon.com's hand-held device for downloading and reading electronic books wherever you go.
Amazon.com has released an enhanced Kindle, easier to use, with wireless connections here and abroad, with text-to-speech capability. Software is now available from amazon.com to allow you to download Kindle texts to your computer, not simply a Kindle device.

The Compilation is ranked among Kindle's 25 most popular titles in the Civil Rights categories. Download it today!

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Directory of Privacy Professionals

2012 Edition Now Available!
The starting place for anyone getting into privacy issues for the first time is Privacy Journal’s Directory. It lists more than 650 individuals and organizations with knowledge in this hot topic. It has addresses, telephone numbers, e-mail addresses, Web sites, and specialties of public-interest groups, experts, lawyers, corporate and government privacy officers, journalists, academics, consultants, and authors worldwide. It is the only directory covering the growing community of privacy experts – an essential guidebook for journalists, lobbyists, librarians, corporate privacy officers, consumers, lawyers, and others. Updated in 2012. Available in electronic format only. 26 pages with index. $18.50

Book order form

ChoicePoint's Ignoble History

You know that a company called ChoicePoint was exposed for selling loads of personal information to bogus companies set up to commit frauds on consumers.

But what else do you know about ChoicePoint? Who owns it? What kind of information does it collect? What becomes of the personal information? Who regulates ChoicePoint? What is its past record?

Privacy Journal has produced a special report collecting all of its past coverage of the company called ChoicePoint, a company spun off in 1997 from Equifax credit bureau and a company constantly in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission consumer protection division. Privacy Journal's Publisher has been covering the company since 1974, three years after enactment of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and nearly 25 years before the company was named ChoicePoint.

Download this special report today. $8.50 by credit card.

War Stories

A secretary discovers a hidden camera at work. A five-star general experiences theft of identity. A doctor is traumatized when his own diagnosis of HIV infection is gossiped around town. These and 500 other stories are recounted in this awesome collection of real-life horror stories. Each story includes the identity of the person involved and the source for the story, arranged by category. This collection is intended for journalists, researchers, public advocates, lawyers, and others who need real-life examples to bolster their arguments. Also a fine place to find legal citations and names of attorneys who handle privacy cases. Last updated in 2004. (ISBN 0-930072-15-9, new 13-digit ISBN, 9780930072155)

$17.50 plus $4 postage fee.

Also available: War Stories I (1994), War Stories II (1997), War Stories III (2001).

Social Security Numbers: Uses and Abuses

All in one place: a history of Social Security numbers since the 1930s, a translation of what the numbers mean, a guide to when to provide your number - and when you have to - and when not to provide it, plus information about what is done with your number. Revised edition published in 2013. (ISBN 0-930072-18-9), 46 pages. $14.95.

Available in hard copy directly from Privacy Journal, or you may have it e-mailed to you as a pdf attachment (with a credit card).

Our Vanishing Privacy

A collection of essays first published in 1993 and still current, on a national ID card, Social Security numbers, manipulative marketing, testing abuses, tabloid journalism, and leaks in medical information. 132 pages. $16.95. NOW! When you mention this Web site, your price is $11.50.

A National ID Card:A License to Live

Is it an Orwellian horror? Or is it an essential requirement of citizenship, especially in a nation threatened by terrorist attacks?

What do you think of a mandatory universal identifier for all Americans - a piece of plastic that we would all carry and have to display upon request? Before you decide for sure, you need the facts. There are lots of assumptions about identity documents, a lot of false assumptions. Privacy Journal set out to gather all the facts on a national ID so that each of us can be fully informed about the consequences to ourselves and to our nation. This special report is the result. It is essential for any citizen concerned about his or her privacy and autonomy. $18.50, from Privacy Journal.

Use the Order Form below.


The Law of Privacy Explained

Here, in 57 pages, is a concise, understandable explanation of what courts will consider an invasion of privacy. This handy guide to the common law of privacy includes all the important case citations on the tort of invasion of privacy and the constitutional right to privacy. If you want to know whether you have a claim, this is the book you need. If you are an attorney preparing a privacy case, this is the book you need. If you are an individual contemplating hiring a lawyer, this is the book you need. Author is Robert Ellis Smith, experienced attorney.

$14.50 plus $4 postage from Privacy Journal.

Celebrities and Privacy

What are the stories behind celebrities' complaints about invasions of privacy? This 1986 report tells you, with accounts of lawsuits by Clint Eastwood, Johnny Carson, Muhammud Ali, Bela Lugosi, Tom Selleck, and many more. It tells you how certain performers have become famous without compromising their personal privacy. It tells you how the families of deceased celebrities have preserved the rights of publicity to their names, after death. $16.50, plus $4 postage fee.

Marc Osgoode Smith, contributing editor

Privacy: How to Protect What's Left of It

This highly acclaimed 1980 book with specific advice for protecting your own privacy is still relevant and still in demand. It tells you about information gathering in various business sectors and in government, then gives specific tips for protecting yourself, and describes electronic surveillance and how to detect it. "Super," said The New York Times. Some call it the "Unsafe at Any Speed" or the "Silent Spring" of privacy, in other words a landmark book that alerted citizens to a whole new issue.

A few copies are available. Send us an email.

Block Island Trivia

More than 250 questions - lots for children, too - testing your knowledge, or your guessing abilities, about Block Island. How far can the ferry go without a fuel refill? Who is the last President to visit? Where is BI-95? What's a Spa boy? Is a lobster left-handed? What is the spooky flash of light over the Atlantic that is viewed from the Island?

Published in a new edition in 2008.
Makes a great gift.
Written by Robert Ellis Smith, long-time resident and conservationist, "the guru of Block Island Trivia," according to The Block Island Times.

"Bob Smith has Block Island down to the last detail"
-- Providence Journal.

$14.50 from Privacy Journal.

Or find it at kindle.com or amazon.com

$17.50 -- Ben Franklin's Web Site, Privacy and Curiosity from Plymouth Rock to the Internet, 407 pages

"A delightful read" - Alan F. Westin "Readable and Sensible" - Wall Street Journal

$8.50 -- ChoicePoint's Ignoble History, a special report, 13 pages (2005)

$34.00 -- Compilation of State and Federal Privacy Laws, 106-page reference book constantly updated.

Includes current supplement. "Strongly recommended for libraries" - Library Journal

$18.50 -- Directory of Privacy Professionals, 500 addresses and phone numbers, updates regularly

"A great reference to have on hand" - Office of the Privacy Commissioner, Canada

$18.50 -- A National ID Card: A License to Live, arguments for and against, 46 pages (2002)

$14.50 -- The Law of Privacy Explained, the basics in 57 pages (1993)

$16.95 -- Our Vanishing Privacy, 132-page book of essays with consumer advice on protecting privacy (1993)

$14.95 -- Social Security Numbers: Uses and Abuses, a special 46-page report issued in 2002

$17.50 -- War Stories, 400 real-life episodes of privacy invasions, last updated in 2004

$12.00 -- Workrights, 267-page book on rights of employees, still in demand (1984)

$140.00 -- Current subscription to Privacy Journal monthly newsletter (by U.S. mail or e-mail or both)

Discounts are available for non-profits and individuals

$140.00 -- Renewal to Privacy Journal monthly newsletter (by U.S. mail or e-mail or both)

Discounts are available for non-profits and individuals.

$165.00 -- Overseas subscription to Privacy Journal

$14.50 -- Index to Privacy Journal newsletter, 1994 - Present

$10.00 Each -- Back issues of Privacy Journal newsletter (specify year in order)

Essential Books

A - Legal Reference
Consumer Protection eBook
An eBook that you can upload to your handhold device and consult whenever you are in the marketplace or at work, to see what privacy protections exist to help you.
B - History
the tug between privacy and surveillance in U.S. history
E - Directory
500 names, address, phone numbers, and Web sites of the top experts and organizations in the field of personal privacy. $18.50
Order Form
D - Current issues
Anecdotes of Persons Victimized by Invasions of Privacy
Essays on privacy issues
D - Current Issues
C - Advocacy
F - Legal Reference
G. Classic Still Available
1980 National Book Award nominee
Regional Humor
Quiz for a Rainy Day