New Book by Media Institute Distinguished Fellow Offers Far-Reaching Insights

FOR RELEASE: August 21, 2020

Contact: Richard T. Kaplar
The Media Institute

Book cover image of "Privacy’s Perfect Storm: Digital Policy for Post-Pandemic Times" by Stuart N. BrotmanArlington, Va., August 21, 2020 – “There can be no doubt now that digital privacy protection deserves more focus as a national policy priority,” concludes Stuart N. Brotman in his latest book, Privacy’s Perfect Storm: Digital Policy for Post-Pandemic Times, published this week.

Brotman, a Distinguished Fellow at The Media Institute, argues that three forces have converged to create a “perfect storm” affecting privacy at a critical moment in our nation’s history: the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation that affects U.S. Big Tech companies; the California Consumer Privacy Act that took effect on Jan. 1, 2020; and the “new normal” emerging as part of the global COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.

In a series of wide-ranging essays, Brotman addresses digital privacy issues specific to the pandemic such as health information and COVID-19 location data tracking.  He goes on to address a broader range of privacy topics including data portability, biometric data, hacking, innovation, antitrust, 5G, the “digital privacy divide,” user consent, and more, all with an eye toward post-pandemic times and lessons learned from the pandemic.

Brotman concludes that a comprehensive solution to privacy concerns is unlikely to be a single piece of federal legislation, but rather a holistic “multi-stakeholder digital privacy policy toolkit that will be broader and more durable than any particular legislative or regulatory approach.”

A leading global expert in this field, Brotman served as a 2019–20 Fellow in the Science and Technology Innovation Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C., focusing on digital privacy policy issues.  Privacy’s Perfect Storm is the culmination of his efforts at the Wilson Center.

“Stuart Brotman brings a constructive new perspective to the digital privacy dialogue,” said Media Institute President Richard Kaplar.  “His insights on how the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to affect digital privacy in a post-pandemic world are especially prescient.”

As a Distinguished Fellow at The Media Institute, Brotman coordinates the program activities of the Institute’s Digital Media Center and serves on the Institute’s First Amendment Advisory Council.

Privacy’s Perfect Storm: Digital Policy for Post-Pandemic Times is published by Miniver Press and features a foreword by former FCC chairman Newton N. Minow.  The book is available in paperback and e-book versions through at and other booksellers.

The Media Institute is a nonprofit foundation working to advance sound communications policy, freedom of speech, and excellence in journalism. For more information, visit the Institute online at

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