The Ontological Interpretation of Informational Privacy

24 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2021

See all articles by Luciano Floridi

Luciano Floridi

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Date Written: January 02, 2005


The paper outlines a new interpretation of informational privacy and of its moral value. The main theses defended are: (a) informational privacy is a function of the ontological friction in the infosphere, that is, of the forces that oppose the information flow within the space of information; (b) digital ICTs (information and communication technologies) affect the ontological friction by changing the nature of the infosphere (re-ontologization); (c) digital ICTs can therefore both decrease and protect informational privacy but, most importantly, they can also alter its nature and hence our understanding and appreciation of it; (d) a change in our ontological perspective, brought about by digital ICTs, suggests considering each person as being constituted by his or her information and hence regarding a breach of one’s informational privacy as a form of aggression towards one’s personal identity

Keywords: Digital ethics, Informational Privacy, Infosphere, Ontological friction, Personal identity

Suggested Citation

Floridi, Luciano, The Ontological Interpretation of Informational Privacy (January 02, 2005). Available at SSRN: or

Luciano Floridi (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

1 St. Giles
University of Oxford
Oxford OX1 3PG Oxfordshire, Oxfordshire OX1 3JS
United Kingdom

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