These words spoken by Scott McNealy, the founder and CEO of Sun Microsystems, way back in 1999, open an article by Sue Halpern in the new issue of the New York Review of Books, in which she reviews four new books on privacy.

The Known Citizen: A History of Privacy in Modern America
by Sarah E. Igo
Harvard University Press, 569 pp., $35.00

Habeas Data: Privacy vs. the Rise of Surveillance Tech
by Cyrus Farivar
Melville House, 281 pp., $27.99

Beyond Abortion: Roe v. Wade and the Battle for Privacy
by Mary Ziegler
Harvard University Press, 383 pp., $45.00

Privacy’s Blueprint: The Battle to Control the Design of New Technologies
by Woodrow Hartzog
Harvard University Press, 366 pp., $35.00

Because every intimate aspect of our lives is being collected and absorbed and processed and monetized by the digital services that have become essential to our modern lives, the issue of our privacy will continue to be increasingly important to us. As we learn the dangers of the digital media we’ve embraced, hastily, greedily, and without fully understanding it,  we are only now realizing how much of ourselves we have freely given to them, often in return for nothing more than amusement.

Halpern says, “A survey recently published in The Atlantic found that ‘78.8 percent of people said they were “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the privacy of their information on social media, and 82.2 percent said they self-censor on social media.’”

Read this article, and the books Halpern discusses. Surveillance tech owns us. Only by understanding what we’ve done to ourselves through ignorance and unquestioning gullibility, can we hope to correct our mistakes