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Internet Law

Computer Law

2015

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Full-Text Articles in Law

The Self, The Stasi, The Nsa: Privacy, Knowledge, And Complicity In The Surveillance State, Richard Warner, Robert H. Sloan Jan 2015

The Self, The Stasi, The Nsa: Privacy, Knowledge, And Complicity In The Surveillance State, Richard Warner, Robert H. Sloan

All Faculty Scholarship

We focus on privacy in public. The notion dates back over a century, at least to the work of the German sociologist, Georg Simmel. Simmel observed that people voluntarily limit their knowledge of each other as they interact in a wide variety of social and commercial roles, thereby making certain information private relative to the interaction even if it is otherwise publicly available. Current governmental surveillance in the US (and elsewhere) reduces privacy in public. But to what extent?

The question matters because adequate self-realization requires adequate privacy in public. That in turn depends on informational norms, social norms that ...