Arguments about privacy often hinge on one’s specific outlook, because designers’ values and priorities influence how one thinks about and designs solutions . In this section, we present alternative perspectives on privacy without advocating one particular view. The reader should instead refer to ethical principles suggested by professional organizations, such as the ACM or the IFIP [31, 46]. Still, we believe that an understanding of different perspectives is useful, because it provides a framework for designers to select the most appropriate approach for solving a specific problem.
2.2.1 Principled Views and Common Interests
The first perspective contrasts a principled view with a communitarian view. The principled view sees privacy as a fundamental right of humans. This view is supported by modern constitutions, for example the US 4th Amendment, and texts such as the European Convention on Human Rights . In contrast, the communitarian view emphasizes the common interest, and espouses an utilitarian view of privacy where individual rights may be circumscribed to benefit the society at large . For an example of how this dichotomy has been translated into a framework for assessing the privacy concerns brought about by ubiquitous computing technologies, see work by Terrel, Jacobs, and Abowd [163, 283].
The tension between principled approaches and utilitarian views is reflected in debates over the use of many technologies. For example, Etzioni discusses the merits and disadvantages of mandatory HIV testing and video surveillance. In the case of information and communication technologies, the contrast between these two views can be seen in the ongoing debate between civil liberties associations (e.g., the Electronic Frontier Foundation) and governments over strong encryption technologies and surveillance systems.
These contrasting views can also help explain differences in approaches in the privacy research community. For example, some privacy-enhancing technologies (PETs) have been developed more as a matter of principle than on solid commercial grounds. Some researchers in the privacy community argue that the mere existence of these PETs is more important for their impact on policy debate than their actual widespread use or even commercial viability. Reportedly, this is the reason why organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation support some of these projects.
2.2.2 Data Protection and Personal Privacy
The second perspective contrasts data protection with personal privacy. Data protection (also known as informational self-determination) refers to the management of personally identifiable information, typically by governments or commercial entities. Here, the focus is on protecting such data by regulating how, when, and for what purpose data can be collected, used, and disclosed. The modern version of this concept stems from work by Alan Westin and others [306, 307], and came about because of concerns over how databases could be used to collect and search personal information .
Westin’s work led to the creation of the influential Fair Information Practices (FIPS), which are a set of guidelines for personal information management. The FIPS include notions such as purpose specification, participation, and accountability (see Section
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