Here are my running notes of the Lift conference in Geneva. This is Christian Heller’s presentation “Post-Privacy“, part of the Redefinition of Privacy session. May contain errors, omissions, things that aren’t quite right, etc. I do my best but I’m just a human live-blogging machine.
Found other good posts about this session? Link to them in the comments.
Privacy != freedom. Space where we can truly be ourselves, don’t have to worry about being something.
Evolution of the notion of privacy.
In a village in the Middle-Ages, nobody knows what privacy is. Everybody knows everyone and everything about everyone. In the cities we might find people who have privacy (Renaissance). Servants, children, parents sleep separately. Personal space. Intimacy. Private space vs. public space. Female privacy, male publicity. Female emancipation, go on the streets, right to work, to vote, to participate in the public discourse. Privacy = isolation.
Sexual revolution: taking things belonging to the private discourse and moving them to the public discourse.
Privacy is not necessarily something that is equivalent to freedom.
*steph-note: series of charts and things that I didn’t follow — I think I missed the explanation.*
Opening up the healthcare system when thousands of people share their data.
Privacy has been associated with the right to abortion, to be left along, to self-determination… A space where I can do what I want to do without fearing outside reactions.
But information is power, so information about me can be used to have power over me. CCTV. “Caution, you’re under video surveillance.” => data protection. Problem: if we try to enforce this rigorously, so that it actually does something, then we’d have to build DRM for every piece of data online. Oops.
Solutions? Find out ways in which openness is power. Eg. Gay pride, openness which forces society to change its values. Watching the watchers (Transparent society). Equilibrium. (Watching others not limited to an elite.)