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For applications that manage access to one’s physical space or attention or interpersonal communication (e.g., chat, email, and social networking sites, as well as some location-enhanced applications such as person finders), a data protection outlook may result in a cumbersome design. For example, imagine highly detailed policies for when others could send instant messages to you. Instead, IM clients provide a refined moment-by-moment control of availability through away features and plausible deniability. For applications affecting personal privacy, negotiation needs to be dialectic and continuous, making it easy for people to project a desired persona, depending on social context, pressures, and expectations of appropriate conduct.

How should these different views of privacy be reconciled? Our best answer to this question is that they should not be. Each approach to privacy has produced a wealth of tools, including analytic instruments, design guidelines, legislation, and social expectations. Furthermore, many applications see both aspects at work at the same time. For example, a social networking web site has to apply a data protection perspective to protect the data they are collecting from individuals, a personal privacy perspective to let individuals project a desired image of themselves, and a data protection perspective again to prevent users from crawling and data mining their web site.

2.3 An Historic Perspective on Privacy

Privacy is not a static target: changes in technology, in our understanding of the specific social uses of such technologies, and in social expectations have led to shifts in the focus of privacy research in HCI. In this section, we discuss changes in the expectation of privacy over the past three decades and summarize the consequences of these changes on HCI practice.

2.3.1 Changes in Expectations of Privacy

While the basic structures of social relations—for example, power relations and the presentation of self—have remained relatively stable with technical evolution [123], there have been large shifts in perceptions and expectations of privacy. These shifts can be seen in the gradual adoption of telecommunication technologies, electronic payment systems, and surveillance systems, notwithstanding initial privacy worries.

There are two noteworthy aspects on how privacy expectations have changed. The first is that social practice and expectations co-evolve with technical development, making it difficult to establish causal effects between the two. The second aspect is that privacy expectations evolve along multi-dimensional lines, and the same technology can have opposite effects on different types of privacy.

Social practice and technology co-evolve. For example, the introduction of digital cameras, or location technology in cell phones, happened alongside the gradual introduction of legislation [2, 3, 5] and the emergence of a social etiquette regulating their use. Legislation often follows technical development, although in some cases specific legislation preempts technical development. For example, digital signature legislation in some European countries was enacted well before the technology was fully developed, which may have in fact slowed down adoption by negatively affecting its usability [7].

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