Interdisciplinary privacy research

Interdisciplinary privacy research

Dimensions of privacy

The term 'Decisional Privacy' describes the right to be free from interference in one's decisions and actions. Informational Privacy refers to the right to protection of one's personal data. Localised Privacy describes the right to protection against unauthorized access in protected areas.

(Rössler 2001: 25)

Privacy, also known as 'the right to be let alone' (Warren/Brandeis 1890: 193), has become the subject of much international research. The emergence of new communication media, new formats and enhanced technologies has – particularly in recent years – changed people's concepts of what is regarded as 'private' and what is 'non-private'. Far from having clear-cut definitions, the two concepts tend to collide somewhat, thus causing a great deal of friction.

In the sense of a 'great dichotomy' (Bobbio 1989: 1), privacy has thus far been defined ex negativo as complementary to the non-private, which in turn was usually considered synonymous to the public realm. It is therefore a derivative, secondary and relational phenomenon that relies on the existence of an antonym and is characterised primarily by the absence of essential attributes which the opposite term contains.

However, the demarcations between the two complementary sectors, much like the relation between the 'private' and the 'non-private', are by no means natural, but specific to a person's culture, age, peer group and social stratum (cf. Rössler 2001: 15, 25). Moreover, they are closely related to value judgements and therefore normative (cf. Bobbio 1989: 2, 9).

Literature offering an introduction to privacy research

Ariès, Philippe; Duby, George (ed.) (1989-1993): Geschichte des privaten Lebens. 5 Bände. Frankfurt am Main: Fischer.
Bobbio, Norberto (1989): The Great Dichotomy: Public/Private. In: Ders.: Democracy and Dictatorship. The Nature and Limits of State Power. Translated by Peter Kennealy. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, S. 1-21.
Bull, Hans Peter (2009): Informationelle Selbstbestimmung – Vision oder Illusion?. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck.
Geuss, Raymond (2002): Privatheit. Eine Genealogie. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Giddens, Anthony (1993): Wandel der Intimität. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer.
Gräf, Dennis; Halft, Stefan; Schmöller, Verena (2011): Privatheit. Formen und Funktionen. Passau: Stutz.
Habermas, Jürgen (1962): Strukturwandel der Öffentlichkeit. Untersuchungen zu einer Kategorie der bürgerlichen Gesellschaft. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Halft, Stefan; Krah, Hans (2012): Privatheit. Strategien und Transformationen. Passau: Stutz.
Jurczyk, Karin; Oechsle, Mechtild (2008): Privatheit: Interdisziplinarität und Grenzverschiebungen. Eine Einführung. In: Dies. (ed.): Das Private neu denken. Erosionen, Ambivalenzen, Leistungen. Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot, S. 8-47.
Nagenborg, Michael (2005): Das Private unter den Rahmenbedingungen der IuK-Technologie. Ein Beitrag zur Informationsethik. Wiesbaden: VS-Verlag.
Ritter, Martina (2008): Alltag im Umbruch. Zur Dynamik von Öffentlichkeit und Privatheit im neuen Russland. Hamburg: Krämer.
Rössler, Beate (2001): Der Wert des Privaten. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.
Rössler, Beate (2003): Anonymität und Privatheit. In: Bäumler, Helmut (Hg.): Anonymität im Internet. Braunschweig, Wiesbaden: Vieweg, S. 27-40.
Schaar, Peter (2007): Das Ende der Privatsphäre. München: Bertelsmann.
Schertz, Christian; Höch, Dominik (2011): Privat war gestern. Berlin: Ullstein.
Sennett, Richard (1983): Die Tyrannei der Intimität. Aus dem Amerikanischen übersetzt von Reinhard Kaiser. Frankfurt am Main: S. Fischer.
Sofsky, Wolfgang (2007): Verteidigung des Privaten. München: C.H. Beck.
Warren, Samuel D.; Brandeis, Louis D. (1890): The Right to Privacy. In: Harvard Law Review, Jg. 4, H. 5, S. 193-220.
Weintraub, Jeff (1997): The Theory and Politics of the Public/Private Distinction. In: Weintraub, Jeff; Kumar, Krishan (Hg.): Public and Private in Thought and Practice. Perspectives on a Grand Dichotomy. Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press, S. 1-42.
Westin, Alan F. (1970): Privacy and Freedom. New York: Atheneum.