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Beyond the Books with Legal Human Rights author Jacqueline Klosek

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War on Privacy

Jacqueline Klosek

 

About the Author

Jacqueline Klosek is an attorney in New York. Her practice focuses on advising clients on various issues related to data privacy and security. She also drafts and negotiates various technology agreements and advises on different aspects of the law related to intellectual property and technology. Jacqueline is a frequent writer and lecturer. Her most recent book is The Right to Know: Your Guide to Using and Defending Freedom of Information Law in the United States. Her prior books include: War on Privacy (Praeger, 2006); The Legal Guide to e-Business (Greenwood Publishing, 2003) and Data Privacy in the Information Age (Greenwood Publishing, 2000). She is presently working on Your Health Privacy, a book focused on privacy and data sector in healthcare. Jacqueline (along with James R. Silkenat and Jeffrey M. Aresty) is also an editor of the recently released 3rd edition of the ABA Guide to International Business Negotiations: A Comparison of Cross-Cultural Issues and Successful Approaches. Jacqueline is a Certified Information Privacy Professional. She has been recognized for her professional expertise. In 2004, Ms. Klosek received NJBiz magazine’s “40 Under 40” award, given annually to the top 40 achievers in New Jersey with an established record of leadership who have taken on key decision-making roles at an earlier-than-usual stage in their lives. She was also the recipient of the Telford-Taylor Fellowship in Public International Law. She is a graduate of the Vrije Universiteit in Brussels (LLM, European and International Law); Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (JD, Law) and New York University (BA, Psychology).

Her web site is: www.jacquelineklosek.com and she may be reached at jacquelineklosek@gmail.com.

The Interview

Q: Welcome to Beyond the Books, Jacqueline. Can we start out by telling us whether you are published for the first time or are you multi-published?

A: I am the author of four books: (1) The Right to Know: Your Guide to Using and Defending Freedom of Information Law in the United States; (2) War on Privacy (Praeger, 2006); (3) The Legal Guide to e-Business (Greenwood Publishing, 2003) and (4) Data Privacy in the Information Age (Greenwood Publishing, 2000). I am presently working on Your Health Privacy: A Guide to Protecting the Privacy and Security of your Medical Information, a book focused on privacy and data sector in healthcare.

In addition to my own full-length books, I also edited a number of publications, including the recently released 3rd edition of the ABA Guide to International Business Negotiations: A Comparison of Cross-Cultural Issues and Successful Approaches, which I edited with James R. Silkenat and Jeffrey M. Aresty.

Q: What was the name of your very first book regardless of whether it was published or not and, if not published, why?

A: My first book was, “My Puppy’s Big Adventure.” I wrote it in the first grade and it was never published. It concerned the fictional puppy of my dreams going on a bunch of grand adventures, such as to the beach, the amusement park and to a party with friends.

Q: For your first published book, how many rejections did you go through before you either found a mainstream publisher, self-published it, or paid a vanity press to publish it?

A: My first book was published with a mainstream publisher and I feel I was pretty lucky with the whole process. I submitted my idea for the book to a single publisher (Greenwood Publishing) and they offered me a contract to write the book, which I gladly accepted.

Q: When your first book was published, who published it and why did you choose them?

A: My first book, Data Privacy in the Information Age, was published in 2000. This book examines the impact of technological advancements on individual privacy rights and explores the differences between American and European approaches to privacy. I first conceived of this book in 1998 when I was working for a multinational consulting firm in Brussels, Belgium. I was one of a few Americans on a team that was providing advice to American and other multinational corporations seeking to do business in Europe and encountering difficulties in complying with the European privacy laws. Spending a lot of time working in this area, my interest in the topic grew and I became determined to write a more in-depth book on the issue.

While determined to write this book, I had no idea as to how I could do that. Unsure of what to do next and conducted an Internet search to find publishers that were involved in my chosen area. I encountered the web site of Greenwood (the parent company of Praeger) at the time and found helpful details about submitting proposals for new books. I wrote up a proposal for Data Privacy in the Information Age and a few weeks later I had my first publishing contract in hand.

Q: How did it make you feel to become published for the first time and how did you celebrate?

A: I was traveling in Spain when I received notice of the great news that Greenwood would be offering me a contract to write, Data Privacy in the Information Age, based upon the proposal that I had submitted. This was something that I had wanted for a long time and I was truly ecstatic. I believe I jumped up and down a few dozen times, yelping in glee and then went out for a nice celebratory dinner. Of course, after my celebration, I had to drill down and get to work to actually write the book.

Q: What was the first thing you did as for as promotion when you were published for the first time?

A: For the first and second books, I am sad to say that I did not undertake any efforts at self-promotion. A brand new writer in my twenties, I was completely inexperienced and unknowledgeable about the role that the author has to take in promoting his or her own work. I have learned a lot since then and with each new book, I try to do more in terms of promotion.

Q: If you had to do it over again, would you have chosen another route to be published?

A: No, I do not believe that I would have chosen another route. Overall, I was very pleased with the whole experienced. That said, I do believe that I would have had a more favorable experienced if I had been more knowledgeable about the process and the need to take an active role in promoting one’s own work. Over the years, I have relied upon supportive mentors to assist me with my legal career. I do wish that I had sought out and secured a mentor or two in the fields of publishing and/or writing. This is something that I would recommend to all new writers.

Q: Have you been published since then and how have you grown as an author?

A: Yes, since Data Privacy In the Information Age, I published three additional books with Praeger. My second, A Legal Guide to eBusiness, is a guidebook for entrepreneurs and small business owners seeking to expand their presences online. It advises on key legal issues involved with Internet business. Next in 2006, I published War on Privacy. This book explores the impact that the terrorist attacks of 2001 and the resulting “war on terror” have had on privacy rights worldwide.

Most recently, in 2009, I published, The Right to Know: Your Guide to Using and Defending Freedom of Information Law in the United States. In this book, I examine the role of freedom of information laws, including, primarily, the federal Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”). I explore the provisions of the FOIA and examine its application, showing how the FOIA has and can be used to uncover information in the following main areas: (i) protecting the environment; (ii) protecting human health; (iii) protecting safety; (iv) fighting corruption and government waste; and (v) protecting human rights and civil liberties. In addition to exploring these examples, I offer information and tips as to how people may use the FOIA and similar state laws to obtain information from the government about issues that are important to them.

I believe that I have been growing as a writer (and hope to continue to do so). As an attorney, at first, I wrote about what I knew best. Accordingly, my first two books were really legal guidebooks. Since then, I have tried to branch out a bit and tackle more pressing social issues in a way that is accessible to people outside of the legal profession. This is something that I wish to continue – and expand upon – in the future.

At present, I am working on Your Health Privacy: A Guide to Protecting the Privacy and Security of your Medical Information. After teaching a course on HIPAA and health privacy at Seton Hall University law school, I became even more interested in the importance of privacy in medical information and wished to write a guide for citizens on this very important issue. This book, to be released in 2010 will explore the features and limitations of current legal mechanisms to protect the privacy and security of medical information. It also aims to empower individuals to take control of their own medical information.

Q: Any final words for writers who dream of being published one day?

A: First, a caveat. I am most experienced in the world of non-fiction, so I feel my advice may be limited to that genre. For many authors, one of the most challenging tasks of writing is getting that first publishing deal. With deep awareness of this reality, I am very grateful of the relatively smooth road to publishing that I have enjoyed. I have published four books, each with the same publisher, and am currently under contract to write my fifth and six books.

Looking back at my first publishing opportunity, I do believe that luck was involved. I was fortuitous to be in the right field at the right time. I was specializing in an issue that was a very hot topic at the time and I had the expertise and experience to write about it. I also worked diligently to understand the other writers and works in the market so that I would be able to explain how my proposed book was different, thereby making the case for my book to the publisher. For authors seeking to be published, I would suggest that they undertake similar activities. For example, make yourself an expert in your chosen field. Also, understand the market and be prepared to explain why your book is likely to be a commercial success. Above all, persevere and keep writing. Good luck!

About War on Privacy

War on PrivacyIn today’s globalized society, the war on terror has negatively affected privacy rights not just in the United States, but everywhere. When privacy rights are curtailed around the world, American efforts to spread freedom and democracy are hindered, and as a consequence, Americans are less secure in the world. Ironically, the erosion of individual privacy rights, here and abroad, has been happening in the name of enhancing national security. This book sheds light on this apparent contradiction, and argues that governments must do more to preserve privacy rights while endeavoring to protect their citizens against future terrorist attacks. It is easy to forget that prior to 9/11, privacy rights were on the march. Plans were in the works, in the areas of legislation and regulation, to protect personal privacy from both governmental intrusion and corporate penetration. The need for such protections arose from the swift advances in information technology of the 1990s. But the attacks of 9/11, and the responses of governments to this new level of the terrorist threat, put an end to all that. Not only is privacy no longer emphasized in legislation, it is being eroded steadily, raising significant questions about the handling of personal information, surveillance, and other invasions into the private lives of ordinary citizens.

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1 Comment

  1. […] also did a Q&A with the Beyond the Books blog earlier this month; we discussed publishing and the book […]

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