26 November 2012


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  • Facebook watches and records usage behavior and personal data uploaded and entered by users (surveillance), it aggregates information about users that is obtained from its own site and other sites (aggregation), based on aggregation it identifies the consumer interests of users (identification), it is unclear to whom exactly the data is shared for economic purposes (exclusion from knowledge about data use, one can here also speak of the intransparency of data use), the data are exploited for profit generation and therefore for economic purposes (data appropriation, understood as “the use of the data subject’s identity to serve another’s aims and interests” INTRANSPARENCY – we don’t know how it is used or by whom
  • 26 November 2012

    1. 1. Today’s Plan• privacy – what is it?• fetishism/victimization discourse – must avoid!• problems with privacy• socialist privacy• business model; targeted ads• course evaluations
    2. 2. How often do you click …
    3. 3. What is Privacy?• restricted access theory of informational privacy – ability to limit/restrict others from accessing your personal information• control theory of privacy – control & self-determination over information about you
    4. 4. • “right to privacy is neither a right to secrecy nor a right to control but a right to appropriate flow of personal information” – (Nissenbaum 2010:127; as quoted in Fuchs 2011)
    5. 5. Are you willing to sacrifice yourprivacy in order to use Facebook?
    6. 6. “My mother barely knows how to write on my wall let along change her privacy.”
    7. 7. “In high school I honestly could have cared less about privacy, however now I definitely care,and I think that has to do with getting older and becoming more aware of the stuff I post on Facebook can impact my offline world”
    8. 8. FETISHISM• phenomena created by humans = natural, forever & always existing everywhere• privacy varies over time and place  it is socially created and constructed• desire for privacy relates to social inequalities in society
    9. 9. Privacy Fetishism• young users expose too much info – targets of surveillance, criminals• individual  behave correctly, don’t expose too much [SEXTING]• ignores poli-eco of Facebook (ads, capital accumulation, appropriation of user data for economic ends, user exploitation)• should we ask people to restrict their use of social media?
    10. 10. Victimization Discourse• people don’t know have the knowledge, don’t make use of privacy mechanisms• irresponsible, ill-informed• increase privacy levels to solve problems – but does this equal less fun for users? less contacts? less satisfaction? deepening of info inequality [AND FOR WHOM? women?]• tech deterministic and techno-pessimistic: inherent risk in tech• individualistic  ignores how use is conditioned by societal context of info tech [want to socialize w friends, etc]
    11. 11. Problems with Privacy• western-centric concept• typical American liberal belief = strengthening privacy can cause no harm• promotes an individual agenda and possessive individualism that can harm the public/common good• can legitimize domestic violence in families• used for illegal/antisocial activities• can conceal info to mislead/misrepresent
    12. 12. Problems with Privacy• financial privacy – private companies do not have to reveal – publicly traded companies do – non-profits do• can support: tax evasion, black money and money laundering; hides wealth gaps (& thereby ideologically legitimates them)• protects rich, companies and wealthy• ideological mechanism for reproducing & deepening inequalities
    13. 13. Privacy in Capitalism• universal value  protects private property• undermined by corporate surveillance for profit (& political surveillance) – needed to establish trust• protects privacy for rich but not for citizens• ANTAGONISM
    14. 14. PRIVACY FOR WHOM?• privacy rights should equate to one’s position in the power structure• modern privacy is related to: – private property – capital accumulation – social inequality
    15. 15. Socialist Privacy• protect consumers & citizens from corporate surveillance (that aims to gather info in order to accumulate capital, discipline workers & consumers, increase productivity of capitalist production and advertising)
    16. 16. Socialist Privacy• focus: surveillance of capital and the rich to increase transparency and privacy protection of consumers and workers
    17. 17. Targeted Ads• business model of most profit-oriented SNS• need permanent input and activity of users• increased efficiency of advertising (versus television model where all audience members see the same ad)• more ads in the same time period• no opt in or out option