The Strange Return of Gyges' Ring: An Introduction
"The Strange Return of Gyges' Ring" in Privacy, Identity, and Anonymity: Lessons from the Identity Trail, eds. Ian Kerr, Valerie Steeves and Carole Lucock (Oxford University Press, in press 2009)
9 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2013
Date Written: January 1, 2009
This book chapter was written as the introduction to an important anthology of research results assembled by a large team of international experts: Lessons from the Identity Trail. It begins with an account of the network society – describing how key social structures and activities are organized around electronically processed information networks. Using the legend of Gyges’ Ring from Plato’s Republic, the author emphasizes the power that comes with being able to interact with relative anonymity in the network society. The chapter then introduces the three broad themes of the book — privacy, identity and anonymity — and explains why our current understanding of the impact and importance of each of these in a network society are simplistic and poorly developed, suggesting the need for the broad, multi-disciplinary approach set out in the book.
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