Alan Westin Photo

Alan Westin

Born: Oct 11, 1929

Death: Feb 18, 2013

Nationality: United States

Alan Westin

Date of Birth : Oct 11, 1929
Date of Death : Feb 18, 2013

Alan Furman Westin was a Professor of Public Law & Government Emeritus, Columbia University, former publisher of Privacy & American Business, and former President of the Center for Social & Legal Research. Westin's research at Columbia University in the 1960s is widely seen as the first significant work on the problem of consumer data privacy and data protection. Westin defined privacy as an individual’s right “to control, edit, manage, and delete information about them[selves] and decide when, how, and to what extent information is communicated to others.” Westin’s major books on privacy – Privacy and Freedom and Databanks in a Free Society – were pioneering works that prompted U.S. privacy legislation and helped launch global privacy movements in many democratic nations in the 1960s and 70s. He has also specialized in studying the impact of information technologies on national and local governmental operations, from decision-making to citizen services and freedom of information administration, illustrated by his 1971 book, Information Technology in a Democracy.

Also known as

  • Alan Furman Westin
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