A worthwhile if less than objective examination of security and consumer privacy.
This debut is a noble attempt to demonstrate “the complex relationship between privacy, security and convenience” while offering an overview of current and future technologies designed to thwart security and privacy breaches. Trepp, who leads a facial recognition company, concentrates largely on consumer privacy, which, he writes, is being shaped by technology and consumers “working together…to create a new standard.” While the book certainly could appeal to consumers, it seems to primarily target companies that operate in the security and privacy world. Included, for example, are eight ways companies can lead a privacy revolution, several capsule case studies of companies who have stepped outside the boundaries of privacy, and a set of five privacy guidelines that conveniently spell out the word T-R-U-S-T. These guidelines, it should be mentioned, are built around the manner in which Trepp’s company, FaceFirst, approaches privacy and security protection. In fact, the entire book skews rather heavily toward facial recognition technology; parts two, three, four, and five of a six-part work rely primarily on facial recognition and biometrics to guide the discussion. All security roads, apparently, lead to biometrics: “It’s also easy to imagine how face recognition could replace your government ID, the key fob to your office, your ATM card and even your car key.” Still, this obvious bias doesn’t undermine the broader issues raised by the author. Trepp writes with considerable knowledge and authority; his overview of the potential “cashier-less future” of retail is fascinating, and his assessment of security risks at airports and other public venues is sobering. The author’s descriptions of AI–driven technologies, such as voice and facial recognition, are futuristic yet pragmatic. Perhaps because Trepp suspected his overall argument could be interpreted as defensively one-sided, he uses the last part of the book to feature “a global conversation on privacy” in which he asks numerous privacy thought leaders to respond to three key questions. The insights shared by these individuals help legitimize the book.
Cogent and forward-thinking.