Mapping Online Privacy
36 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2009
Privacy scholars have recently outlined difficulties in applying existing concepts of personal privacy to the maturing Internet. With Web 2.0 technologies, more people have more opportunities to post information about themselves and others online, often with scant regard for individual privacy. Shifting notions of 'reasonable expectations of privacy' in the context of blogs, wikis, and online social networks create challenges for privacy regulation. Courts and commentators struggle with Web 2.0 privacy incursions without the benefit of a clear regulatory framework. This article offers a map of privacy that might help delineate at least the outer boundaries of Web 2.0 privacy. The aim is to develop an umbrella under which individual aspects of privacy may be collected and examined, along with their relationships to each other. The key aspects of privacy identified are: (i) actors/relationships; (ii) privacy-threatening conduct; (iii) motivations; (iv) harms/remedies; (v) nature of private information; and, (vi) format of information. The author suggests that by examining these aspects of privacy, and their inter-relationships, we might gain a more comprehensive picture of online privacy. We might also gain a better idea of precisely where Web 2.0 technologies are putting pressure on the boundaries of traditional notions of privacy.
Keywords: privacy, WWW (world wide web), internet, Web 2.0, technology, social networks, Justice Antonin Scalia, Professor Joel Reidenberg
JEL Classification: K11, K13, K42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation