I bought The Data Detective after listening to an episode of Harford's podcast, Cautionary Tales (side note: very enjoyable podcast), where he read a selection from the book. He'd hooked me immediately. In The Data Detective Harford, an economist and journalist, dives into the value, dangers, and history of statistics and big data, bringing in events and narratives (current and historical) to elucidate the points he's making,
It was a great listen. He dives into how easily the average person can misunderstand data that's presented to them, how the media can, intentionally or unintentionally, misrepresent data, and how scientists, companies, and governments can, again intentionally or unintentionally, misrepresent and misuse data. On the flip side, he explores the great value big data and statistics can create when looked at critically and objectively and when the base, underlying assumptions and datasets are made clear. The writing is excellent and Harford skillfully brings the reader (or listener) through challenging, multi-dimensional issues with balance and clarity.
I'd highly recommend The Data Detective for anyone interested in data privacy, big data (ex: Google, Facebook, Apple, etc.), statistics, and even government policy in relation to data [mis]use.