The Particularized Judgment Account of Privacy
Res Publica 17(3): 275-290 (2011)
24 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2007 Last revised: 15 Nov 2014
Date Written: July 1, 2010
Questions of privacy have become particularly salient in recent years for a number of reasons, including the surveillance and information-gathering initiatives precipitated by the attacks on the World Trade Center in 2001, the steady increase in the power of surveillance and computing technologies, and massive collection of data about individuals by private actors for commercial purposes. And while privacy is not new to the philosophical and legal literature, there is much left to be said about the nature and value of privacy. My focus in this paper is on the nature of informational privacy. I begin with a brief discussion of the predominant views of privacy in the literature, and I argue that those accounts are unsatisfactory. I then offer a new account. On my view, for a person to have informational privacy is for there to be limits on the particularized judgments that others are able to reasonably make about that person.
Keywords: privacy, right to privacy, information, informational privacy
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