(Part One)Computers didn't kill privacy.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg didn't kill privacy.
So who killed privacy? We all did, of course. Accidentally, perhaps.
Or maybe, like the fairies in Peter Pan, privacy only lived as long as we continued to believe in it.
—Simon Chesterman – Dean of the National University of Singapore Faculty of Law
In the 1700’s, people would see symbolic and associated meanings in objects that the modern person finds completely neutral. For example, putting a letter into one’s pocket was at the time a very intimate gesture, which was a way of feeling and showing great affection. Since pockets were so close to the body—on the skin, actually, since underwear was not common—they usually caught the scent of their owner. Furthermore, reaching for a woman’s pocket meant that the hand was to be put under the slits of the skirt and close to her pelvic area. Therefore accessing them was thought very intimate, even when performed by the woman herself. – Pockets and (female) privacy: the 18th century compared with today, I Am No Pickpocket
No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks. – Article 12
- solitude: the state of being free from observation of others
- intimacy: the state of being with another person but free from the outside world
- anonymity: the state of being unknown even in a crowd
- reserve: the state in which a person employs psychological barriers to control unwanted intrusion
According to Altman, if we effectively control the openness and closedness of self to others (i.e., make ourselves more or less available to others) in response to our desire and the environment, we can function better in society than those who cannot. In order to regulate our privacy (i.e., social interaction) successfully, we need to use a variety of behavioural mechanisms such as verbal, paraverbal and non-verbal behaviour, environmental mechanisms of territoriality and personal space, etc. By combining these behavioural mechanisms (i.e., techniques), we can effectively express our desired privacy level to others in order to achieve the optimum level of privacy. – Wikipedia
b1. intimacy with familyb2. intimacy with friendse. isolation (as a way of life to differentiate it from temporary solitude)
Among examples of modern devaluations in privacy, Noble and Noble noted that until the late twentieth century, diaries, letters and biographies were regarded as private legacy bequeathed by the deceased to family, and chart the growth of straight autobiography as distinct from the novel as fictionalized autobiography. They deplore compulsive self-disclosure (glamorised as candour) and over-disclosure, not only because it becomes boring, but also because it looks for sympathy as against creating intimacy or developing self-awareness. Reticence, on the other hand, encourages limited or protected communication, while privacy keeps emotions and acts from being trivialised: What is important is kept private (for example, lovemaking)...
Noble and Noble emphasized the link between privacy and power: Privacy allows or asserts power, and power confers privacy. Privacy in modern America has become a luxury, indicating status; lack of privacy among the poor and in the workplace leads to stress, and lack of assertiveness means that important boundaries cannot be established. Privacy is resisted by calling it "selfishness"; shyness in modern America is regarded as synonymous with worthlessness but can be seen instead as sensitivity and perceptiveness.
The right of the individual to decide what information about himself should be communicated to others and under what circumstances.
− Solitude: control over one’s interpersonal interactions with other people.− Confidentiality: control over other people’s access to information about oneself.− Autonomy: control over what one does, i.e., freedom of will.
- information about oneself,
- access to oneself, both physical and mental, and
- one's ability to make important decisions about family and lifestyle in order to be self-expressive and to develop varied relationships
These three interests are related because in each of the three contexts threats of information leaks, threats of control over our bodies, and threats to our power to make our own choices about our lifestyles and activities all make us vulnerable and fearful that we are being scrutinized, pressured or taken advantage of by others. Privacy has moral value because it shields us in all three contexts by providing certain freedom and independence — freedom from scrutiny, prejudice, pressure to conform, exploitation, and the judgment of others.
- the right to be let alone — Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis’ famous formulation of the right to privacy;
- limited access to the self — the ability to shield oneself from unwanted access by others;
- secrecy — the concealment of certain matters from others;
- control over personal information — the ability to exercise control over information about oneself;
- personhood — the protection of one’s personality, individuality, and dignity; and
- intimacy — control over, or limited access to, one’s intimate relationships or aspects of life.
It is probably no mere historical accident that the word person, in its first meaning, is a mask. It is rather recognition of the fact that everyone is always and everywhere, more or less consciously, playing a role… It is in these roles that we know each other; it is in these roles that we know ourselves.
Privacy is dead, get over it – Scott McNealy, CEO of Sun Microsystems in 2001
It is my thesis that privacy is not just one possible means among others to insure some other value, but that it is necessarily related to ends and relations of the most fundamental sort: respect, love, friendship and trust. Privacy is not merely a good technique for furthering these fundamental relations; rather without privacy they are simply inconceivable. They require a context of privacy or the possibility of privacy for their existence.