Changing notions of privacy

Changing notions of privacy

As expected, privacy was a central topic. Several readings were discussed but all figured privacy as a question of agency within relationships. Iain Bourne described a “lost period” of privacy, where it was becoming less and less clear what should be protected, and the mechanisms through which those protections should operate. People are sharing intimate data in and through social interactions online. Regulators have difficulty in quantifying the harms that may arise from these types of interaction. Nevertheless, Iain was clear that data should be subject to purpose limitation, standards and security, and the right to be removed should be in place. Some, such as Nick Pickles and Jacques Bus, argued that existing technological infrastructures are a dramatic threat to privacy. For Nick, the rights of the individual were primary, and practices of data collection must be treated as potentially problematic from the outset. State and private sector organizations are not to be automatically trusted. In the related un-session, Jacqui Taylor used her work to illustrate how the nature and expectations of privacy were changing for younger age groups. It was clear from these discussions that canonical ideas of notice and consent are not especially useful in thinking through these emerging notions of privacy. Iain argued strongly that terms and conditions were not working, and that real-time technologies should themselves be used to allow people to know more about who holds what kinds of data about them.

 

How can we better map out the relations between privacy and data infrastructures and in what ways might we better locate and understand the threats? From this, can we begin to imagine radically new infrastructures?

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