Seizing Control? The Experience Capture Experiments of Ringley & Mann
Ethics and Information Technology , Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 129-139
11 Pages Posted: 18 Nov 2008
Date Written: 2007
Will the proliferation of devices that provide the continuous archival and retrieval of personal experiences (CARPE) improve control over, access to and the record of collective knowledge? Or is it possible that their increasing ubiquity might pose fundamental risks to humanity? Through an examination of the webcam experiment of Jenni Ringley and the EyeTap experiments of Steve Mann, this article explores some of the social implications of CARPE.
The authors' central claim is that focusing on notions of individual consent and control in assessing the privacy implications of CARPE, while reflective of the individualistic conception of privacy that predominates western thinking, is nevertheless inadequate in terms of recognizing the effect of individual uptake of these kinds of technologies on the level of privacy we are all collectively entitled to expect. The authors urge that future analysis ought to take a broader approach that considers contextual factors affecting user groups and the possible limitations on our collective ability to control the social meanings associated with the subsequent distribution and use of personal images and experiences after they are captured and archived. The authors ultimately recommend an approach that takes into account the collective impact that CARPE technologies will have on privacy and identity formation and highlight aspects of that approach.
Keywords: privacy, surveillance, sousveillance, personal experience capture, CARPE, life logging, webcam, EyeTap, glogging, Jennicam, reasonable expectation of privacy
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