Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Privacy falsehoods

I read an article called "I've Got Nothing To Hide and Other Misunderstandings of Privacy" by Daniel J. Solove. It's interesting stuff, especially how he dissects the misconceptions behind the assertion that "if you've got nothing to hide [from government surveillance] then you've got nothing to fear".

He has to present a taxonomy of privacy failures as a way of talking about the actual problems we face, because, as he says, privacy is such a slippery concept to define that we run the risk of being too narrow or too broad in our definitions, and either miss something or lose coherence in the process. His taxonomy is based on the idea that privacy is not one concept, but a related family of concepts, the whole of which is not reducible to a single essential common kernel.

That got me thinking that, rather than one kernel, there must be several, not all of which are necessarily present in every case. That would be the bottom-up equivalent of the taxonomy, defining the essential bits that are present in many privacy concerns, and combining them in different ways to construct privacy scenarios.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - I haven't figured out what those aspects are.
PPS - Probably they contain Control and Anonymity.

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