dr. Ralf De Wolf to chair and present at AoIR

19-10-2017 09:00 to 21-10-2017 19:00
Tartu (Estonia)
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Dr. Ralf De Wolf will chair a session and present a paper on networked privacy at the AoIR Conference.

PAPER: Towards a networked privacy paradigm: assumptions and implications

Authors: dr. Ralf De Wolf, Rob Heyman


There is a long tradition of research on why and to whom people disclose information and manage their privacy, especially since the emergence of social media. Recently, there has been a push to conceptualize privacy in relation to social media as ‘networked privacy’, where privacy is framed in terms of networks, relationships or people. Despite the popular term it is unclear what makes networked privacy new and how it relates to other privacy conceptualizations. In this paper, we therefore analyze networked privacy together with the following privacy theories; Warren and Brandeis’ right to be left alone, Westin’s privacy control, Nissenbaum’s theory of contextual integrity and Petronio’s communication privacy management theory. Each theory refers (implicitly or explicitly) to different ontological and epistemological claims and we will clarify these and illustrate how fundamentally different the networked privacy paradigm is from its counterparts. The analysis serves as a first step towards defining fundamental principles for a paradigm of networked privacy.

PANEL: Privacy beyond the individual

Authors: Ralf De Wolf, Airi Lampinen, Elinor Carmi, Tuukka Lehtiniemi, Sander Schwartz


In everyday discourse, privacy is still persistently equated with individual information control or access restriction, placing responsibility squarely on the shoulders of individuals. Yet, in networked environments where contexts regularly collapse and blur, the sole focus on the individual seems ineffective and misleading. For example, self-managed privacy decisions cannot easily account for the consequences of data traces that do not map onto the individual only. It is also challenging to contest power asymmetries in the data economy as an individual.

Relying on scholarship that frames privacy management as a dialectical process where individuals are highly dependent on each other, this fishbowl challenges us to move beyond the individual in discussing privacy. Certainly with the arrival of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe, applicable as from 25 May 2018, the discussion is timely and much needed. We seek to share and collaboratively create effective ways to address privacy in networked settings in terms of networks, groups and relationships.

Drawing on our diverse backgrounds in law, history, economics, social psychology, and media and communications, we will foster conversation about questions that include (but are not limited to):

  • Which actors are and are not involved in constructing notions of ‘privacy’? How do they engage in these processes?
  • What sorts of collective action is, or could be, taken to address power imbalances in the data economy?
  • How might we think beyond the binary framework of privacy as a ‘human right’ or as a ‘property right’ on one’s data?
  • How does the data portability ruling of GDPR affect groups and networks? What effect does the ruling on parental consent for processing minors’ data have on familial power relations?
  • What issues could the networked view of privacy highlight in different domains - e.g., social media, exchange platforms, personal datastores, IoT?