Privacy in the Digital Age

21st-Century Challenges to the Fourth Amendment

by Nancy S. Lind and Erik Rankin, Editors


Unless it's encrypted, any cell phone call is readily available for monitoring.

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Cover image for Privacy in the Digital Age

June 2015


Pages 664
Volumes 2
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Politics, Law, and Government/Law
  Current Events and Issues/Science and Technology

A collection of expert essays examines the privacy rights that have been lost in the post-9/11 era—giving students and others the knowledge they need to take back their constitutional protections.

This timely two-volume collection shares information every citizen should have, tackling the erosion of privacy rights engendered by the ability of digital technology to intercept, mine, and store personal data, most often without the knowledge of those being monitored. Examining its subject through the lens of Fourth Amendment rights, the work focuses on technological advances that now gather personal data on an unprecedented scale, whether by monitoring social media, tracking cell phones, or using thermal imaging to watch people's movement. It also examines the possible impact of the widespread gathering of such data by law enforcement and security agencies and by private corporations such as Google.

Organized by hot-button topics confronting U.S. citizens in the post-9/11 era, the work reviews the original intent of the Fourth Amendment and then traces the development and erosion of interpretations of that amendment in the 21st century. Topical essays offer a comprehensive treatment and understanding of current Fourth Amendment issues, including those that have been brought before the courts and those relative to the continuing governmental and societal emphasis on security and public safety since the Columbine shootings in 1999 and the events of September 11, 2001.


  • Traces the historical development of the Fourth Amendment through recent Supreme Court decisions
  • Offers a discussion of current issues and traces the legislative history related to those issues
  • Highlights the use of new technologies to limit privacy rights
  • Combines an awareness of the complexities of the digital age with scholarly analysis
  • Speaks to the interests of students, scholars, and the general reader about the challenges facing the Fourth Amendment in the 21st century
Author Info

Nancy S. Lind, PhD, is professor of politics and government at Illinois State University. Her published works include First Amendment Rights: An Encyclopedia; Governing Illinois; Dynamics of Social Welfare Policy: Right versus Left ; The First World Presidency: George H. W. Bush, 1989–1993; and Comparative Public Administration: The Essential Readings.

Erik T. Rankin, MA, MS/MPS, and doctoral student, is assistant to the Department Chair at Illinois State University. His published works include Governing Illinois and First Amendment Rights: An Encyclopedia.

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