Ubiquitous computing and “big data” have been widely recognized as requiring new concepts of privacy and new mechanisms to protect it. While improved concepts of privacy have been suggested, the paper aims to argue that people acting in full conformity to those privacy norms still can infringe the privacy of others in the context of ubiquitous computing and “big data”.
New threats to privacy are described. Helen Nissenbaum's concept of “privacy as contextual integrity” is reviewed concerning its capability to grasp these problems. The argument is based on the assumption that the technologies work, persons are fully informed and capable of deciding according to advanced privacy considerations.
Big data and ubiquitous computing enable privacy threats for persons whose data are only indirectly involved and even for persons about whom no data have been collected and processed. Those new problems are intrinsic to the functionality of these new technologies and need to be addressed on a social and political level. Furthermore, a concept of data minimization in terms of the quality of the data is proposed.
The use of personal data as a threat to the privacy of others is established. This new perspective is used to reassess and recontextualize Helen Nissenbaum's concept of privacy. Data minimization in terms of quality of data is proposed as a new concept.
The research for this paper has been carried out within the research project “MuViT”, funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research. The author is very grateful for the valuable advice given by Jessica Heesen and Simon Rogerson on earlier versions of this paper. A preliminary version has been presented at the “Computer Ethics Philosophical Enquiries (CEPE)” conference in Lisbon 2013. The author would like to extend his thanks to the participants for their feedback and suggestions.
Matzner, T. (2014), "Why privacy is not enough privacy in the context of “ubiquitous computing” and “big data”", Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, Vol. 12 No. 2, pp. 93-106. https://doi.org/10.1108/JICES-08-2013-0030Download as .RIS
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