Trust in the Networked Era: When Phones Become Hotel Keys

Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 22:1 (2018): 1–25, DOI: 10.5840/techne201792271

25 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2018

See all articles by Keymolen Esther

Keymolen Esther

eLaw, Center for Law and Digital Technologies

Date Written: April 25, 2018

Abstract

This article is an update of Latour’s well-known case of the unreturned hotel key. In recent years, the hotel key has been replaced by a keycard and more recently by a digital key that can be downloaded on a smartphone. This article analyses how — with every step in the innovation process — the trust relation of hotel owner and hotel guest is mediated in a distinct way. The networked ontology of the digital key enables the collection of personal information from which the hotel can tailor its services to the wishes of the hotel guests. While this may be in the interest of the guest, it, however, also makes the guest vulnerable as she has only limited control over the data and comes to depend on the conduct of the hotel. The digital key is not merely a key to open a hotel door; it also unlocks the personal information of the guest.

Keywords: Trust, Latour, Hotel Keys, Privacy, Technological Mediation

Suggested Citation

Esther, Keymolen, Trust in the Networked Era: When Phones Become Hotel Keys (April 25, 2018). Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 22:1 (2018): 1–25, DOI: 10.5840/techne201792271 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3168402 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3168402

Keymolen Esther (Contact Author)

eLaw, Center for Law and Digital Technologies ( email )

Postbus 9500
Leiden, 2300 RA
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.estherkeymolen.nl

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