Why “notice and choice” approaches to privacy reduce our privacy

In a recently published article, we (Lemi Baruh and Mihaela Popescu) discuss the limitations of reliance on market mechanisms for privacy protection.

Self-management frameworks such as “notice or choice” are inherently biased towards 1) reducing the level of privacy enjoyed by the members of the society and 2) creating privacy inequities (i.e., privacy haves and have nots). In the article we also discuss an alternative way of approaching privacy protection in the age of big data analytics.

Here is the abstract:

This article looks at how the logic of big data analytics, which promotes an aura of unchallenged objectivity to the algorithmic analysis of quantitative data, preempts individuals’ ability to self-define and closes off any opportunity for those inferences to be challenged or resisted. We argue that the predominant privacy protection regimes based on the privacy self-management framework of “notice and choice” not only fail to protect individual privacy, but also underplay privacy as a collective good. To illustrate this claim, we discuss how two possible individual strategies—withdrawal from the market (avoidance) and complete reliance on market-provided privacy protections (assimilation)—may result in less privacy options available to the society at large. We conclude by discussing how acknowledging the collective dimension of privacy could provide more meaningful alternatives for privacy protection.

“Involving Citizens In Emergency Preparedness And Response” Workshop In Istanbul

Cosmic Logo

The tentative schedule for the COSMIC “Involving Citizens in Emergency Preparedness and Response Workshop”, to be held in Istanbul is now ready. 

Involving Citizens in Emergency Preparedness and Response
International Workshop
Location: Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations, Istanbul
Date: September 4, 2014; Thursday

For further information about the workshop, please click here or here

If you are interested in attending the conference, please register from this link. Registration is free.

COSMIC Report on Citizens’ Involvement in Crises

COSMIC (Contribution of Social Media in Crisis Management) project partners MixLab at Koç University and Hellenic Rescue Team has drafted a report on Citizens’ Involvement in Emergency Communications. The report seeks to examine the various roles that citizens may have in communications during emergencies. Also, the report maps the relationship between the use of different types of media and communication technologies—including mass media, as well as new media technologies—and citizens’ involvement in emergency communications as,

  1. potential or actual volunteers (first responders) who may aid emergency response and rescue;
  2. as social activists who may utilise online networks to organise, coordinate, collaborate or mobilise during political crises; and
  3. as citizens who report on emergencies and political crises.

With respect to the role that citizens may play as first responders, the report focuses on how various communication media are utilised by response organisations and government agencies to identify, recruit, network with and train citizens.  In order to accomplish this goal, the partners engaged in an in-depth analysis of citizen awareness programs and volunteer recruitment and training processes in four different countries:  Turkey, Italy, United Kingdom, and Greece.

The report also discusses social activism as a form of citizen involvement in crises (predominantly political crises). Particularly, the section on social activism discusses  how social activist formations use media to recruit members and/or form networks, communicate ideas, and coordinate action.

Finally, regarding the role that citizens can play as reporters/journalists during emergencies and crises, discuss  issues related to news selection processes, types of coverage (commentary vs. news), types of sources used by citizen journalists and citizen journalists’ perceptions regarding issues like reliability of information. In order to do so, the report summarises findings from  a content analysis of the articles published by citizens who reported about four emergencies/crises and online interviews conducted with a sample of citizens whose reports were content analysed.

Click Here for a copy of the report.

A new book on Social Interaction Technologies, coming out soon

Here we are again with an announcement of a new book… This new book, perhaps the first of its kind, is  edited by Tatyana Dumova and Richard Fiorno and is entitled Handbook of Research on Social Interaction Technologies and Collaboration Software: Concepts and Trends. The book is expected to be out in July, 2009 from IGI Global.

SocialIntTech

I am happy to have contributed to this volume with two chapters:

  • Social Media Marketing: Web X.0 of Opportunities (Chapter 4).
  • Public Intimacy and the New Face (Book) of Surveillance: The Role of Social Media in Shaping Contemporary Dataveillance (Chapter 35, with Levent Soysal).

Below is a detailed description of the book.  You can also click here for the abstracts of all the chapters.

We live in a time unparalleled in human history: a time of fundamental cultural, political, social, and economic change marked by an exponential growth in human powers to electronically collect, process, store, retrieve and disseminate information and create new knowledge.

The Handbook of Research on Social Interaction Technologies and Collaboration Software: Concepts and Trends focuses on the latest explosion of Internet-based collaboration tools and platforms reaching end-users; it explores their origins, structures, purposes, and functions; and it muses over how SIT can expand human abilities and powers. This broad spectrum of applications and services includes: online social networking, blogs, wikis, podcasts, web feeds, folksonomies, social bookmaking, photo and video sharing, discussion forums, virtual worlds, and mashups intended to advance interaction, collaboration, and sharing online.

Key Features:
  • 50 authoritative contributions by the world’s leading experts in social interaction technologies and collaboration software
  • Comprehensive coverage of each specific topic, highlighting recent trends and describing the latest advances in the field
  • More than 1,750 references to existing literature and research on social interaction technologies and collaboration software
  • A compendium of over 380 key terms with detailed definitions
  • Organized by topic and indexed, making it a convenient method of reference for all IT/IS scholars and professionals
  • Cross-referencing of key terms, figures, and information pertinent to social interaction technologies and collaboration software
  • Societies Under Siege Conference – Presentation

    About two weeks ago, an international conference entitled Societies Under Siege: Media, Government, Politics and Citizens’ Freedoms in an Age of Terrorism was organized by the Faculty of Communications at Kadir Has University (organization committee chair was Dr. Banu Baybars Hawks).

    I also had a chance to present a paper and  revisit some of my previous work on journalism, framing and surveillance in contemporary societies.

    Here’s the link to the presentation…