secrecy and privacy

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  • 8/11/2019 Secrecy and Privacy

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  • 8/11/2019 Secrecy and Privacy

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    Julie

    E.

    Cohen

    The InverseRelationship

    between

    Secrecy

    and

    Privacy

    THE

    INVERSE-RELATIONSHIP NARRATIVE

    WITHIN CIVIL LIBERTARIAN

    DISCOURSE,

    IT

    IS COMMONLY HELD

    that here

    s

    an

    inverse

    elationship

    etween

    overnment

    ecrecy

    nd

    the

    privacy

    f

    ndividual

    itizens.

    ccording

    o this

    nverse-relationship

    narrative,

    ecrecy

    nables nd

    perpetuates

    rivacy

    nvasion

    y hielding

    government

    rying

    rom

    ublic crutiny.

    bsent he

    secrecy,

    r so the

    story oes, hepublicwould allgovernmentoaccount or tsmisdeeds,

    after hich

    onstitutional

    nd

    tatutoryrotections

    ouldkick n nd

    he

    proper

    alancebetween

    ublic

    nd

    private

    ife

    wouldbe restored.f

    we

    tell he

    nverse-relationshiptory

    ften

    nough

    nd

    ndignantly

    nough,

    itcan

    come o

    seem

    s

    though

    e

    might

    chieve

    ufficient

    rotection

    or

    both

    rivacy

    nd

    democracyimply y

    imiting

    fficial

    ecrecy.

    The

    nverse-relationshiptory

    f

    how

    privacy

    s

    lostand

    gained

    is

    an

    appealing

    ne. Stories hat ast

    government

    s the

    greatest

    hreat

    to ndividual elfare,nd that nvisionndividual elfare s protected

    precisely

    o

    the extent

    hat

    government

    s

    restrained,

    ave

    powerful

    cultural

    esonance n

    American

    ublic

    discourse. ne

    might ay

    that

    they

    xist

    n

    our

    political

    NA in

    the

    fundamentally

    iberal

    olitical

    philosophy

    hat

    nimates ur

    politics

    nd our

    markets.

    Portions f his

    ssay

    re

    adapted

    rom

    my orthcoming

    ook,

    Configuring

    he

    Networked

    Self:

    Copyright,

    urveillance,

    nd the

    Production

    f

    Networked

    pace (Yale

    University

    Press,

    forthcoming).

    social

    research Vol 77 :

    No 3 :

    Fall

    2010 883

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    In the

    case of

    privacy,

    owever,

    he

    story

    s

    wrong.

    evaluation

    of

    privacy

    s bound

    up

    with ur

    political conomy

    nd

    with

    ur

    public

    discourse bout nformationolicynimportant ays hathave ittle

    or

    nothing

    o do withofficial onduct. his devaluation

    roceeds

    n

    two

    opposite

    ut

    mutually einforcingatterns: yvalorizing rivate

    economic

    rrangementsrganized

    round

    rade

    ecrecy

    nd

    by

    elevat-

    ing openness

    as an ultimate

    ood.

    There s an inverse

    elationship

    between

    rivacy

    nd

    secrecy,

    ut

    there

    s an

    equallypowerful

    nverse

    relationship

    etween

    penness

    nd

    privacy

    hat

    or

    deological

    easons

    we are nclined o resist

    iscussing.

    nd he

    very

    ame iberal ommit-

    ments hat

    generate

    he

    inverse-relationship

    tory

    revent

    s from

    understanding

    hat

    privacy ught

    o mean.

    THE

    POWER OF SECRECY

    ACROSS

    THE

    PUBLIC/PRIVATE

    DIVIDE

    In

    the

    emerging

    etworked

    nformation

    conomy,

    ccess to

    personal

    informationbout

    current

    nd

    potential

    ustomerss considered

    he

    key ngredientn market uccess.The United tateshas become the

    center

    f

    large

    nd

    growing

    market or

    ersonal

    nformation,

    ncom-

    passing

    ll kindsof

    data about

    individual

    ttributes,ctivities,

    nd

    preferences.

    rade

    n

    some

    nformation,

    uch

    as financial

    nd health

    information,

    s

    subject

    o

    legal

    restrictions,

    ut mostother

    ypes

    f

    information

    low

    reely

    mongparticipants,

    anging

    rom

    arge

    finan-

    cial institutions

    o search

    engines

    o divorce

    ttorneys

    nd

    private

    detectives. lows

    fdata

    are facilitated

    y corporate

    ata brokers

    ike

    ChoicePoint,xperian,nd AxciomHoofhagle004:600-08). ohelp

    companies

    and

    governments)

    akethe most f

    the nformation

    hey

    purchase,

    n

    industry

    evoted o

    data

    mining

    nd behavioral

    dver-

    tising

    as

    arisen;

    irms

    n this

    ndustryompete

    with ne another o

    develop

    more

    profitable

    ethods

    f

    sorting

    nd

    classifying

    ndividual

    consumers.

    The driver

    f markets

    n

    personal

    nformation

    s

    a kind

    of

    privacy,

    ut t s

    the

    privacy

    f

    private

    roperty.

    nformation

    isclosed

    by

    ndividualshroughheir ommercial elationshipsecomesthe

    884 social

    research

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    private roperty

    f

    providers

    f services nd

    goods,

    nd that

    property

    itself s

    bought,

    old,

    nd traded. he ultimate

    bject

    of thistrade s

    thecreation f ndividualizedconomies f ttention,nwhichwe are

    known

    by

    our

    preferences

    nd

    habits nd

    captured y

    our

    oyalties.

    Personalizationlso

    plays key

    role

    n

    the

    vision

    fthe future

    f

    the

    Internet s a semanticweb

    (Berners-Lee

    t al.

    2001)

    that

    connects

    people,

    nformation,

    nd

    things.

    The

    interactivity

    f

    the

    emerging

    semantic

    eb s

    comprehensively

    ediated

    y

    nformationbout ndi-

    viduals'

    references

    nd transactional

    istories.

    To

    be

    sure,

    government

    s an

    important

    ustomer f

    private

    sector ata

    processors.

    n theUnited

    tates,

    number ffederal

    gen-

    cies

    have awarded

    multimillion ollar

    contracts o

    corporate

    data

    brokers o

    supply

    hemwith

    personal

    nformationbout both citi-

    zens

    and

    foreign

    ationals.

    rivacy

    estrictionshat imit he

    extent o

    which he

    government

    an itself ollect

    personal

    nformation

    ener-

    ally

    do not

    pply

    o such

    purchases

    t all

    Hoofhagle

    004:

    622-23).

    he

    government

    as

    deployed ecrecy

    o

    great

    ffect

    here hese

    nitiatives

    areconcerned, ith heresult hatwe still nderstandoo ittle bout

    many

    f

    them.

    Legal regimes

    urporting

    o

    guarantee

    fficial

    rans-

    parency

    re n

    fact ndeterminate

    n how much

    openness

    o

    require.

    For

    xample,

    he

    federal

    reedom f

    nformationct

    FOIA)

    mandates

    far-reaching

    isclosure

    f

    nformationbout

    government

    ctions

    nd

    processes,

    ut

    exempts

    lassified

    nformationnd

    informationbout

    law

    enforcement

    echniques

    nd

    procedures

    f

    uch

    disclosure

    would

    risk

    ircumvention

    f

    he aw

    or create

    isks

    o

    ife

    r

    physical

    afety

    (552(b)(7)).

    Even

    o,

    most

    overnment

    ses f

    personal

    nformation,

    hether

    collected

    directly

    r

    acquired

    from

    private

    ompanies,

    ultimately

    are

    subject

    o

    transparencyequirements,

    ncluding

    hose

    mposed

    by

    the

    FOIA,

    nd

    they

    re

    subject

    o the

    supervision

    f

    courts.

    n

    the

    United

    tates,

    he

    same

    requirements

    o not

    apply

    o mostcommer-

    cial

    data-processingperations.

    he

    guidelines

    n fair

    nformation

    practices

    doptedby

    the

    Organization

    or

    Economic

    Cooperation

    nd

    DevelopmentOECD) 1980) ndenacted s a directive

    y

    he

    European

    The

    Inverse

    Relationship

    between

    Secrecy

    and

    Privacy

    885

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    Union

    EU) 1995)require

    arties

    hat

    ollect

    personal

    nformationo

    provide

    isclosures

    pecifying

    he

    purposes

    or

    which he

    nformation

    willbeusedandanypotential ecipientsther han heoriginalollec-

    tor.

    They

    lso

    must fford ata

    subjects

    meaningful pportunity

    o

    examine nd correct he nformation.

    n the United

    tates,however,

    the OECD

    guidelines enerally

    ave

    not

    been

    applied

    o

    most

    private-

    sector

    ses and transfersf

    personal

    ata;

    nstead,

    uch activities

    re

    regulated

    nly

    y

    backgroundrohibitionsgainst

    nfair nd

    deceptive

    trade

    ractices.

    ost

    eputable

    irms hat

    eal

    directly

    ith onsumers

    do disclose ome nformation

    bout

    their

    privacy ractices,

    ut the

    incentive

    s to formulate

    isclosures boutboth

    purposes

    nd

    poten-

    tial

    recipients

    n the

    most

    general

    erms

    ossible.

    his

    practice

    n turn

    shields

    econdary ecipients

    f

    personal

    data,

    most

    of whom do not

    disclose

    nformationbout

    heir

    ctivitiest all.

    Even

    the

    highlygranular

    purpose

    and

    recipient

    disclosures

    required

    nder strict

    nterpretation

    f

    the

    OECD

    guidelines,

    more-

    over,

    would

    not

    necessarily

    hed

    ight

    n the

    operational

    ignificance

    ofcollectednformation.elling omeonewhatpiecesof nformation

    wereconsidered

    or he

    purposes

    f

    making

    ecisions

    bout

    credit r

    medical

    overage rovides

    o information

    bout

    how hat

    nformation

    mattered.

    t reveals

    very

    ittle bout

    the other

    ssumptions

    sed to

    construct

    he

    operational

    euristic,

    or

    does t

    ndicate ow

    different

    information

    ould

    have

    changed

    heresult.

    Effortso

    gain

    access

    to

    operational

    nformation

    bout

    private-

    sector

    uses of

    personal

    nformation

    un into

    the first f

    the

    two

    discourses f nformationolicy hat mentionedt the start f this

    essay:

    he

    discourse f

    economic

    ecrecy.

    conomic

    egimes

    f

    trade

    secrecy

    ave as

    their

    rincipal

    urposes

    he

    protection

    f

    nnovation

    and

    competition.

    uch

    regimes

    eproduce

    s

    a matter f

    course

    many

    of

    he

    patterns

    fnondisclosure

    hat

    we find o

    threatening

    hen

    hey

    manifest

    ithin

    overnment.

    ithin

    rade

    ecrecy

    aw and

    practice,

    it s

    not

    only

    normal

    ut

    also

    and more

    fundamentally

    esirable

    hat

    information

    hould

    be made

    available

    only

    to

    those

    authorized

    o

    know t.

    Although

    edonot

    typically

    cknowledgehis, rade ecrecy

    886

    social research

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    and state

    ecrecy

    re

    equally mportantspects

    f our national

    nfor-

    mation

    policy.

    Governmentisclosures

    ypically

    re

    structuredo as

    nottodisrupt atternsftrade ecrecy,ndthis s legally anctioned:

    theFOIA

    552(b)(4)) xempts

    rade ecret

    nformationrom isclosure

    in

    most ases.

    The nexusbetween tate

    ecrecy

    nd

    economic

    ecrecy

    as

    not

    gone

    unnoticed

    n

    information

    olicy

    debates. cholars ike Danielle

    Citron

    2008)

    have

    pointed

    ut that

    egimes

    f

    economic

    ecrecy

    orti-

    fied

    y

    he

    FOIA

    rade

    ecrecy xemptionmay perate

    o shield

    newly

    privatized,ormerlyublic

    functions

    uch

    as

    the

    design

    f electronic

    voting rocesses

    rom

    ublic crutiny.

    itron

    rgues

    hatdue

    process

    protections

    gainst rbitrary

    tate

    action should extendacross the

    public/private

    ivide

    to

    reach the

    actions of

    the

    nominally rivate

    actorsnow

    performing

    uch functions. he

    arger roblem,

    owever,

    goes beyond

    he transfer

    f

    public

    functionscross he

    public/private

    divide.

    he

    more

    mportantuestion

    s

    why

    he

    public/private

    ivide

    should

    presumptively

    nsulate he

    nformation-processingractices

    f

    other rivatectors rom ublic crutiny.egimes fsecrecy ortified

    by

    ntellectual

    roperty

    aw

    operate

    o

    deny

    us access

    to

    large atego-

    riesofdecisions

    hat

    have real and

    immediate ffect n

    every

    acet

    f

    our

    day-to-day

    ives,

    anging

    rom ecisions

    bout ccess to credit nd

    insurance o moremundane

    ecisions boutthe

    nformationhatwe

    are

    shown.

    hey

    re therefore

    legitimate

    nd

    urgent

    ubject

    f

    public

    concern.

    THE IDEOLOGY OF OPENNESS

    The

    obvious

    emedy

    or oo much

    ecrecy,

    f

    ourse,

    s

    more

    penness.

    So,

    for

    xample,

    ome have

    argued

    hat he best

    way

    to

    equalize

    the

    power isparitiesesulting

    rom

    egimes

    f tate

    r

    corporate

    ecrecy

    s

    to

    give veryone

    ccess

    o

    the

    ame

    nformationhat

    overnments

    nd

    corporations

    ave

    Brin

    999;

    Mann

    et al.

    2003).

    f

    surveillance

    eeds

    and search

    trings

    likewere

    public

    property,

    r so the

    rgument

    oes,

    their

    bility

    ounderwrite

    ublic

    nd

    private

    ssertions f

    power

    would

    begreatlyeduced.

    The

    Inverse

    Relationship

    between

    Secrecy

    and

    Privacy

    887

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    Herewe

    encounter

    he

    second f

    the

    twodiscourses f nforma-

    tion

    policy

    hatwork o devalue

    privacy.

    f

    unlight

    s thebestdisinfec-

    tant ndfree xpressionhefoundationf urdemocracy,hen t eems

    only ogical

    o think

    more

    unlight

    nd more

    nformation

    ill make

    our

    public

    iscourse

    urer

    nd

    more emocratic. s for

    ll

    of

    he

    ncon-

    venient,

    mbarrassing

    its f

    nformation

    hat re

    suddenly

    etworked

    and

    searchable,

    we

    should

    ll

    ust

    learnto

    get past

    the awkwardness

    and enter

    postprivacy

    ra

    for xample,

    Zittrain

    008:

    228-34).

    he

    alternative

    making

    distinctions

    mong

    the Internet's nformation

    flows nd

    regulating

    ome of

    them

    would

    threaten herished ree-

    domsof

    speech

    nd

    inquiry.

    n

    that

    reasoning,ecrecy

    nd

    openness

    are

    complementary

    alves f

    binary

    hat s

    thought

    o contain

    within

    it all ofthe

    possible

    esponses

    o nformation

    olicy roblems.

    rom

    privacy erspective,

    either

    rgument

    ollows.

    First,

    he nformation

    olicy

    iscourse f

    openness

    s extraordi-

    narily

    esistant o

    recognizing

    hat he

    openness racticed

    y

    ordi-

    nary eople,

    bothonline

    nd

    off,

    s

    a matter f

    degree.

    he

    design

    f

    mostnetworkednformationervicesmirrorshis nsensitivity.hen

    Facebook

    nnounced commercial

    rrangement

    alled the Beacon

    program,

    hichwould

    notify

    members f

    their riends'

    urchases,

    t

    assumeduserswould

    be

    delighted.

    When

    Google

    ntroducedts

    new

    networking

    ervice,

    Google

    Buzz,

    automatically

    nrolled ll Gmail

    customers,

    nd

    publicly

    isted

    their

    top

    Gmail

    correspondents

    s

    their

    friends,

    omewondered

    why nyone

    would

    object.

    The

    public

    backlash

    hatfollowed

    ach of

    these

    ncidents,

    nd

    many

    thers,

    was

    entirely nsurprising.here remany easons hatonemight refer

    not to

    share nformation

    bout

    all of one's

    purchases

    r

    all of one's

    private

    orrespondence

    ith

    all

    of

    one's

    friends.

    he

    designers

    f

    Facebook

    Beacon

    nd

    Google

    Buzz

    betrayed

    fatal

    nsensitivity

    o the

    fine

    ontextual

    istinctions

    hat

    we make

    all the time

    n

    our

    nterac-

    tions

    with he

    world,

    nd to ourreasons

    or

    making

    hem.

    The

    everyday

    ractice

    f

    ife nvolves he

    creation

    nd

    manage-

    ment fboundaries

    etween

    ifferentctivities

    nd

    relationships.

    o

    an

    extent,hese

    processes

    f

    boundary

    management

    re

    mplicitly

    ecog-

    888 social

    research

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    nized nAlan

    Westin's

    athbreaking

    nd nfluential

    iscussion f

    privacy

    interests,

    hich dentifiedreserve s

    a

    critical

    spect

    f

    privacy

    1967:

    37-42). ltimately,owever,eserves tooone-dimensionalnotion o

    be useful

    n

    characterizing

    he

    range

    f ocial

    processes

    hat esult

    rom

    selective

    ithholding

    nd

    elective isclosure. richer

    onceptualization

    of

    hedifferential

    ontrol

    hat

    ocial

    processes

    ntail s social

    psycholo-

    gist

    rwin

    ltman'smodel f

    privacy

    s a

    dialectical

    rocess

    f

    boundary

    regulation1975).

    WhileWestin

    resented

    relatively

    tatic

    axonomy

    of

    types

    f

    nterpersonaleparation,

    ltman rafted

    dynamic

    model

    designed

    o

    encompass

    he

    range

    f

    processes y

    which

    privacy

    n

    its

    various ormss created ndmaintained. ltman

    haracterized

    rivacy

    s

    a central

    egulatoryrocess y

    which

    person

    or

    group)

    makeshimself

    more r ess ccessible nd

    open

    to

    others,

    nd

    dentifiedthe

    oncepts

    of

    personal pace

    and territorial

    ehavior s the

    principal

    egulatory

    mechanisms

    n the

    process

    1975: 3).

    He

    observed hat he

    concepts

    f

    personal pace

    nd

    territorialehavior

    nform

    range

    f

    privacy-regulat-

    ing

    behaviors;

    ogether,

    hose

    ehaviorsonstitute

    coherent

    ystem

    or

    personal oundary anagementhat espondsynamicallyochanging

    circumstances,eeds,

    nd desires.

    Importantly,

    hile the term

    privacy

    arrieswith t

    specific

    cultural

    baggage,

    he

    processes

    described

    by

    Altman

    have a

    more

    universal haracter.

    lthough

    ifferent

    ultures ave

    different

    onven-

    tions bout

    personal pace

    and

    territory,eople

    n

    every

    ulture

    se

    personal

    space

    and

    territory

    o

    manage

    interpersonal

    oundaries

    (Altman 977).

    Those

    processes

    mediate uman

    nteraction

    oth

    physi-

    cally ndconceptually;urunderstandingsfselfhood reshapedby

    the

    habitsof

    boundary

    management

    hatwe

    develop.

    Widespread,

    undifferentiated

    isclosures

    hreaten ur

    bility

    o

    manage

    urbound-

    aries,

    with

    otentially

    rastic

    onsequences

    or he

    processes

    y

    which

    we articulate

    ur

    dentities,

    efine

    ur

    beliefs,

    nd

    formulate

    ur

    poli-

    tics.

    As Helen

    Nissenbaum

    2009)

    explains,

    uch

    disclosures

    estroy

    the

    contextual

    ntegrity

    o which

    we

    have

    become

    accustomed.

    nd

    as

    Altman'smodel

    makes

    clear,

    we

    require

    ome

    ability

    o

    manage

    contextualntegritynorder ofunctionn

    society.

    The

    Inverse

    Relationship

    between

    Secrecy

    and

    Privacy

    889

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    Second,

    he

    nformation

    olicy

    iscourse

    f

    openness

    s almost

    willfully

    lind

    to

    the

    economiesof

    desirethat exist n

    information

    markets economiesthat the ideology fopenness tselfhelps to

    create.

    odi

    ean

    2009)

    dentifiestension etween ecrets

    nd

    public-

    ity

    hat xists

    t theheart four

    political conomy,

    ithin hecore

    of

    a set

    of

    practices

    hat he terms communicative

    apitalism.

    Within

    communicative

    apitalism,

    he conomic

    ogics

    f nformation

    arkets

    are

    fortified

    y

    a media

    culture hat

    prizes xposure

    nd an intellec-

    tual ethos that

    assigns

    that media culture

    ndependent

    ormative

    value because of

    the

    greater openness

    t fosters.

    uilding

    n Dean's

    framework,

    urveillanceheorist irstie

    all

    2009:641-45)

    rgues

    hat

    voluntarily

    isclosed nformation

    irculatesn twinned conomies f

    authenticity

    nd

    perversity;

    isclosures re called forth

    y

    manufac-

    tured orms f

    participation

    ut

    they

    lso takeon

    fetish

    alue

    exactly

    because

    hey epresent

    lices f

    uthentic

    eality.

    Emerging ractices

    f

    self-exposure

    lignneatly

    with

    processes

    of

    personalization

    hat

    operate

    n

    information

    arkets,

    nd thatfuel

    theemergingemanticweb. Thepointhere s not thatgiantcorpo-

    rations xtract

    nformationrom

    s

    against

    ur

    will

    or

    in

    ways

    that

    overtly

    elegraph

    conomic r

    political

    ubordination;

    t is

    precisely

    the

    opposite.

    he individualized

    conomies f

    attention hat harac-

    terize

    he

    emerging

    etworkednformation

    ociety ependcritically

    on our

    willing articipation.

    n thenetworked

    nformation

    ociety,

    e

    are

    all in the

    personal-information-processing

    usiness. asic

    network

    economics

    ictates

    hat

    latforms

    ikeFacebook

    nd

    Google

    havevalue

    only o theextent hat nough fusvoluntarilyrovidehemwith he

    raw material.

    he rub s

    that hose ctivities

    ave value to Facebook

    and

    Google

    only

    o the

    extent hat

    they

    an be monetized.

    lowsof

    information

    ithin he semantic

    web constitute

    n interlinkederies

    of surveillant

    ssemblages Haggerty

    nd Ericson

    000): heteroge-

    neous,

    oosely

    oupled

    ets

    of nstitutions

    hat eekto harness

    heraw

    power

    of

    nformation

    y

    fixing

    lows

    f nformation

    ognitively

    nd

    spatially.

    fcritical

    mportance

    ithin

    Haggerty

    nd Ericson's

    rame-

    work, he surveillant

    ssemblage perates

    pon tssubjectsnotonly

    890 social

    research

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    by

    the normalized oul

    training

    f Foucauldian

    heory614-15),

    ut

    also

    by

    eduction.

    he surveillance

    ociety

    s not

    grim ystopia;

    o

    the

    contrary,lows f nformationithin he urveillantssemblage rom-

    ise a

    cornucopia

    f

    benefits nd

    pleasures,

    ncluding

    rice

    discounts

    and social

    status. n return or ts

    pleasures,

    owever,

    he

    surveillant

    assemblage

    demandsfull

    enrollment,

    hich

    cultural nd

    political

    norms f

    openness

    nd

    sunlight elp

    to elicit.

    PRIVACY

    AND LIBERAL ANXIETIES

    Why, hough,

    houldwe

    think hat

    ny

    of

    this s a

    problem?

    fter

    ll,

    we have chosen

    t,

    or so the

    story

    oes,

    and

    we

    choose t

    again

    and

    again every

    imewe

    buy

    music,

    or

    groceries,

    r

    airline

    ickets,

    nd

    every

    imewe

    share

    pdates

    with

    urfriends. his s the

    point

    t which

    thefoundationalommitmentsf iberalism

    et

    n

    the

    way. hey

    ellus

    that he hoices

    hat

    ndividuals

    ake

    bout

    disclosing

    nformation

    re

    definitionally

    utonomous

    nd

    therefore

    resumptively

    fficient,

    nd

    that

    ggregated,

    ccurate nformation

    romotes

    ruth-discovery.

    ne

    canimagine woreasons obe skeptical fthese nswers. ne is that

    information

    rocessing

    s

    good

    for

    far

    ess thanwe think. he

    other

    reason s that

    privacy

    s

    good

    for

    ar

    more.Both

    possibilities

    arrant

    our

    careful,

    ritical ttention.

    Let

    us

    begin

    with he first

    ossibility:

    What

    exactly

    s informa-

    tion

    processing ood

    for?

    What

    social

    goods

    would

    protection

    or

    privacy

    revent

    s from

    chieving?

    he

    conventionalnswerhas

    two

    parts:

    nformation

    rocessing

    ives

    us whatwe

    want,

    nd

    nformation

    processingdvances hepursuitfknowledgend truth.Weshould ee

    immediately

    hat he first

    nswer s

    question

    begging.

    Wants an be

    manufactured,

    nd

    can be

    self-destructive.hallmark

    f

    civilization

    is

    precisely

    he

    capacity

    or oth ndividual

    nd

    collective

    iscipline

    n

    theface

    f xcessive nd

    potentially

    elf-destructive

    ants.

    Perhaps

    urprisingly,

    he account

    of

    nformation

    rocessing

    s

    inevitably

    ruth-enhancing

    ares o better. hat

    ccount,

    which have

    labeled he

    information-processing

    mperative Cohen

    forthcoming,

    chap.3)comes o usdirectlyrom he

    Enlightenment;

    t s

    grounded

    n

    The

    Inverse

    Relationship

    between

    Secrecy

    and

    Privacy

    891

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    a view

    of nformation

    athering

    s

    knowledge iscoverylong

    fixed,

    linear

    rajectory

    f forward

    rogress.

    Within

    he

    frameworkefined

    bythe nformation-processingmperative,he nterestngettingnd

    using

    more

    omplete

    nformations

    presumptively

    ational

    nd

    of

    the

    utmost

    mportance.

    he truth alueof he nformations assumed nd

    elevated o a level

    beyond

    deology;

    s

    a

    result,

    he

    other

    work hat

    information

    rocessing

    oes

    goes

    unaddressednd

    usually

    nacknowl-

    edged.

    Information

    rocessing

    s not a neutral

    ctivity,

    owever;

    t

    requires

    hoices bout

    ategories

    nd

    priorities

    hat re

    open

    to nterro-

    gation

    Bowker

    nd Star

    1999).History

    s rifewith

    xamples ranging

    from

    enocide

    o nvidious

    iscriminationobanal

    ales

    f

    bureaucratic

    excess of

    he

    ways

    hat

    precise, ranular

    nformation

    bout

    ndividu-

    als and

    groups

    an be turned o

    unjust

    nd sometimes orrific

    nds

    (for xample,

    Black

    2001).

    mbued

    with he values of

    Enlightenment

    rationalism,

    e tend o

    regard

    hese

    episodes

    s unfortunatenoma-

    lies,

    but

    we shouldnot.

    As Frederick

    chauer

    2003) explains, pposi-

    tion to entrenched ocietaldiscriminations hardto reconcilewith

    commitment

    o the

    ruth alueof

    nformation;

    he inebetween seful

    heuristics nd

    invidious

    tereotypes

    s

    vanishingly

    hin.

    Sorting

    nd

    discrimination

    re

    synonyms;

    he

    one

    entails

    he other

    Gandy

    009:

    55-74). rivacy

    heorists

    endto

    think

    hatthe solution

    o

    problems

    of

    nvidious

    iscrimination

    s

    better

    information-based)

    etrics or

    separating

    he nvidious

    rameworks

    rom he

    truthfulnes.

    Thus,

    or

    example,

    ior trahilevitz

    2008:

    376-81)

    ontrasts

    aluable

    informa-

    tion withwasteful signals, nd argues hatprivacy olicy hould

    encourage

    se of

    heformer

    ather

    han

    he atter.

    hat eemsreason-

    able

    enough,

    ut

    tassumes

    n

    ontological

    istinction

    etween

    he wo

    categories

    hat oes

    not

    xist.

    Faith n the truth

    alue of information

    eaches

    ts

    zenith

    n

    processes

    f risk

    management,

    ut the

    relationship

    etween nfor-

    mation

    rocessing

    nd risk s

    muchmore

    omplicated

    han

    he

    nfor-

    mation-processing

    mperative

    cknowledges.

    vents

    n the

    post-9/11

    worldreveala dialecticalrelationship etweennew technological

    892

    social research

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    respect

    o our

    everyday

    ehaviors nd transactions

    ight ccomplish.

    Except

    or nformationbout handful f

    concededly

    ensitive

    opics,

    it s hard oimaginemeredisclosureltering rajectoriesfbehavior

    that

    presumptively

    lowfrom ur

    freewill. Because the liberal elf

    exists

    utside

    f

    anyparticular

    ontext,

    t s hardto understand

    hy

    changing

    hecontext f disclosure hould

    hange

    ts

    privacympact.

    Some

    commentators

    rgue

    hat

    privacy

    erves

    dignitary

    unc-

    tion worth

    reserving

    otbecause

    t affectsur decisions r

    actions,

    but

    because t

    pares

    ur

    feelings.

    ithin

    ur

    political

    ulture, owever,

    dignitary

    nterestsre considerednemic

    elative

    o

    iberty

    nterests.

    f

    thedisclosuresnabled

    y

    new

    technologies

    re

    thought

    o serve

    nter-

    ests

    n market nd

    expressive

    iberty,

    t s

    easy

    o

    conclude hat

    iberty

    interests

    hould

    prevail.

    rivacy

    omesto seemboth

    unnecessary

    nd

    vaguely etrograde,

    doomed

    ttempt

    o hold

    backthe

    nexorable

    ide

    of

    progress.

    What

    f,

    hough,

    t s not

    he dea

    of

    privacy

    hat

    s the

    problem?

    What f he

    problem,

    nstead,

    s the

    dea

    of

    the

    autonomous, ational,

    decontextualizedelfthatprivacy heoretically rotects? lthough

    legal

    nd

    policy

    iscourse

    lings

    o

    t,

    s

    a

    descriptive

    atter hemodel

    of

    liberal selfhood

    s

    increasingly

    iscredited

    n most other

    areas

    of

    contemporary

    hought, anging

    rom

    hilosophy

    o

    sociology

    o

    cultural

    tudies o

    cognitive

    heory.

    ormost

    ontemporary

    hinkers,

    itmakes

    armore ense

    o

    speak

    of

    n

    emergent,

    elational

    ubjectivity

    that s

    continuallyhaped

    nd

    reshaped

    y verything

    o which

    we are

    exposed.

    That

    understanding

    ovetails

    withAltman'smodel

    1975)

    of

    privacys a dialectical rocess fboundary egulationywhich nder-

    standings

    f elfhood

    re constructed

    ver

    ime.

    In

    general,

    .S.

    privacy

    cholars

    re

    deeply

    esistant,

    ven

    hostile,

    to the

    dea of

    the

    socially

    onstructed

    elf.

    As

    Jeffrey

    osen

    2000:

    166)

    puts

    t,

    I'm free o

    think

    whatever

    likeeven f he

    tate r the

    phone

    company

    nows

    what read.

    hat

    rgument

    s

    a

    product

    f he

    iberal

    conception

    f

    utonomy,ure

    nd

    simple;

    t

    posits

    hat hoice

    negates

    social

    shaping

    nd social

    shaping

    negates

    hoice.

    That

    understanding

    of social

    shaping

    s far oo

    binary,

    owever; ocialshapingneed not

    894 social

    research

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    entail he

    negation

    f

    self.

    Other cholars

    onclude hat

    privacy

    s

    itself

    n

    artifactf

    iberal

    political heory. ccording

    o PeterGalison

    andMarthaMinow2005:277-84), ightsfprivacyre nseparablyied

    to

    the iberal

    onception

    f

    the

    autonomous,

    repolitical

    elf.

    They

    argue

    hat

    privacy

    s

    we

    know

    t

    in

    advanced

    Western

    ocieties)

    lti-

    mately

    will notwithstandhe dissolution fthe iberal elf

    diagnosed

    by contemporary

    ocial

    and cultural

    heory.

    ut he

    understanding

    f

    privacy

    s

    tied

    o

    autonomy epresentsnly

    ne

    possible

    onception

    f

    privacy's

    elation o selfhood.

    If

    boundary egulation lays

    critical ole

    n

    processes

    f self-

    constitution,

    hen

    the

    relationship

    etween

    privacy

    nd

    selfhood

    is

    more

    complex

    han either iberal

    optimism

    r liberal

    pessimism

    suggests.

    have

    rgued

    hat

    One

    can

    choose o understandhe

    autonomous

    iberal

    elf

    and

    the dominated

    ostmodernistubject

    s

    irreconcil-

    able

    opposites,

    rone

    can

    understandhem

    s two

    equally

    implausible)ndpointsn a continuumlongwhich ocial

    shaping

    nd ndividual

    iberty

    ombine n

    varying ropor-

    tions.

    Taking

    he

    atter,

    morerealistic

    erspective,

    ore-

    over,

    t

    s

    possible

    o meld

    contemporary

    ritiques

    f the

    origins

    nd

    evolution f

    subjectivity

    ith he

    more radi-

    tionally

    iberal

    oncerns hathave

    preoccupied

    merican

    privacy

    heorists.

    ostmodernistocial nd

    cultural

    heory

    seeks o cultivate critical

    tance

    oward laims

    o knowl-

    edge ndself-knowledge.n a societyommittedt east o

    the

    desirability

    f the iberal

    deal

    of

    self-determination,

    that

    perspective

    houldbe an

    appealing

    ne

    Cohen

    forth-

    coming,

    hap.

    3).

    It s

    precisely

    n

    the

    malleable,

    nfixed

    ature

    four

    subjectivity

    hat

    we can

    locate the

    possibilities

    or

    meaningful

    elf-actualization

    nd

    social

    progress

    hat

    raditionally

    ave

    been

    among

    iberalism'sardi-

    nalaspirations.

    The Inverse

    Relationship

    between

    Secrecy

    and

    Privacy

    895

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    On

    this account of

    subjectivity,rivacy

    s

    suddenly

    armore

    important

    hanwe as

    a

    society

    ave been

    willing

    o admit.

    This

    s so

    notbecauseprivacyheltersixed,utonomouselfhood rom hepres-

    suresof

    change,

    but because

    t

    does

    exactly

    he

    opposite:

    t shelters

    emergent ubjectivity

    rom xternal ffortso

    render t

    orderly

    nd

    predictable.

    ypreventing

    issolution

    ftheboundaries

    hat

    eparate

    contexts

    nd

    spaces

    from ne

    another,

    rivacy

    ounteracts

    he

    nforma-

    tional

    nd

    spatial ogics

    f

    urveillance,

    hich

    eekto

    mpose grid

    f

    fixed,

    table

    meaning

    n human

    ctivity.

    rivacy

    idens he nterstices

    amongprocesses

    f social

    shaping, urnishingmergentubjectivity

    with

    roomfor

    play.

    Thisenables

    the

    development

    f critical

    erspec-

    tive,

    nd creates

    heconditions

    or oth

    personal

    nd social

    change.

    CONCLUSION

    Open

    ccess o nformation

    s

    an

    important

    nderpinning

    four

    politi-

    cal

    culture,

    ut critical

    ubjectivity

    lso is

    a

    good

    thatwe

    cannotdo

    without.

    f

    so,

    then

    privacy

    and the

    necessary ossibility

    f

    imits

    onknowledge shouldnotbe lightlyurrendered.hepursuit f our

    liberal

    spirations

    equires

    hatwe do

    precisely

    hatwhich ur stron-

    gest

    iberal nstincts

    orbid:

    nterrogateegimes

    f

    ecrecy

    hat xist n

    both

    idesof

    the

    public-private

    ivide,

    nd scrutinize

    ith

    qual rigor

    our

    deology

    f

    openness.

    REFERENCES

    Altman,

    rving.

    TheEnvironment

    nd Social

    Behavior:

    rivacy,

    ersonal

    pace,

    Territory,rowding.onterey,alif:Brooks/Coleublishing,975.

    .

    Privacy

    egulation:

    ulturally

    niversal

    r

    Culturallypecific?

    journal

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