Privacy, Identity and Anonymity
Ian Kerr & Jennifer Barrigar, "Privacy, Identity and Anonymity" in Kirstie Ball, David Lyon, Kevin D. Haggerty, eds, Routledge Handbook of Surveillance Studies (New York: Routledge, 2012) 386.
20 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2019
Date Written: April 1, 2012
This chapter considers the complex interrelationship of privacy, identity and anonymity in an increasingly networked society through an exploration of the evolution of network technologies and consequent shifts in social and technological architectures. The rise of ubiquitous computing has precipitated a shift in the network architecture — from one in which anonymity was the default — to one in which nearly every online transaction is subject to monitoring and the possibility of identity authentication. This technological transformation necessarily affects the relationship between privacy, identity and anonymity.
This chapter suggests that individual experience will become increasingly characterized and shaped by ubiquitous computing, social networks, information intermediaries, actuarial justice and social sorting. Privacy, identity, and anonymity are briefly examined in three distinct parts. A case study on anonymity in a network society demonstrates that the creation of appropriate regulatory protections depends on the preservation of commitments to fundamental underlying rights, such as freedom of speech, autonomy, equality, and security of the person. The extent to which an individual has the ability to manage their own privacy, including the power to identify oneself or to speak anonymously, is argued to be inherently linked to the concept of surveillance.
Keywords: privacy, privacy law, surveillance, anonymity, identity, technology law
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