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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2017

Kiyoshi Murata, Yasunori Fukuta, Yohko Orito and Andrew A. Adams

This paper aims to deal with the attitudes towards and social impact of Edward Snowden’s revelations in Japan, taking the Japanese socio-cultural and political environment…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to deal with the attitudes towards and social impact of Edward Snowden’s revelations in Japan, taking the Japanese socio-cultural and political environment surrounding privacy and state surveillance into account.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey of 1,820 university students and semi-structured follow-up interviews with 56 respondents were conducted, in addition to reviews of the literature on privacy and state surveillance in Japan. The outcomes of the survey were statistically analysed, and qualitative analyses of the interview results were also performed.

Findings

Snowden’s revelations have had little influence over Japanese youngsters’ attitudes towards privacy and state surveillance, mainly due to their low level of awareness of the revelations and high level of confidence in government agencies.

Practical implications

The study results imply a need for reviewing educational programmes for civic education in lower and upper secondary education.

Social implications

The results of this study based on a large-scale questionnaire survey indicate an urgent necessity for providing Japanese youngsters with opportunities to learn more about privacy, liberty, individual autonomy and national security.

Originality/value

This study is the first attempt to investigate the social impact of Snowden’s revelations on Japanese youngsters’ attitudes towards privacy and state surveillance as part of cross-cultural analyses between eight countries.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 14 August 2017

Andrew A. Adams, Kiyoshi Murata, Yasunori Fukuta, Yohko Orito and Ana María Lara Palma

A survey of the attitudes of students in eight countries towards the revelations of mass surveillance by the US’ NSA and the UK’s GCHQ has been described in an…

Abstract

Purpose

A survey of the attitudes of students in eight countries towards the revelations of mass surveillance by the US’ NSA and the UK’s GCHQ has been described in an introductory paper and seven country-specific papers (The People’s Republic of China and Taiwan are combined in a single paper). This paper aims to present a comparison of the results from these countries and draws conclusions about the similarities and differences noted.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was deployed in Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, The People’s Republic of China, Spain, Sweden and Taiwan. The original survey was in English, translated into German, Japanese and Chinese for relevant countries. The survey consists of a combination of Likert scale, Yes/no and free-text responses. The results are quantitatively analysed using appropriate statistical tools and the qualitative answers are interpreted (including, where appropriate, consolidated into quantitative results).

Findings

There are significant differences between respondents in the countries surveyed with respect to their general privacy attitudes and their willingness to follow Snowden’s lead, even where they believe his actions served the public good.

Research limitations/implications

Owing to resource limitations, only university students were surveyed. In some countries (Germany and New Zealand), the relatively small number of respondents limits the ability to make meaningful statistical comparisons between respondents from those countries and from elsewhere on some issues.

Practical implications

Snowden’s actions are generally seen as laudable and having had positive results, among the respondents surveyed. Such results should give pause to governments seeking to expand mass surveillance by government entities.

Originality/value

There have been few surveys regarding attitudes to Snowden’s revelations, despite the significant press attention and political actions that have flowed from it. The context of attitudes to both the actions he revealed and the act of revelation itself is useful in constructing political and philosophical arguments about the balance between surveillance activity for state security and the privacy of individual citizens.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 September 2008

Kiyoshi Murata and Yohko Orito

The purpose of this paper is to reconsider the concept of the right to information privacy and to propose, from a Japanese perspective, a revised conception of this right…

1099

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reconsider the concept of the right to information privacy and to propose, from a Japanese perspective, a revised conception of this right that is suitable for the modern information society.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the concept of privacy and personal information protection in the information society is briefly explained. After that, confused situations in Japan caused by the enforcement of Act on the Protection of Personal Information are described followed by the analysis of the Japanese socio‐cultural circumstances surrounding privacy. Based on these, the effectiveness of the concept of the right to information privacy in the Japanese socio‐cultural and economic context is examined and the need to rethink the concept of the right to information privacy discussed. Finally, a revised conception of the right is proposed.

Findings

In view of the circumstances in Japan, the concept of the right to information privacy, defined as “an individual's right to control the circulation of information relating to him/herself”, as well as the Organisation for Economic Co‐operation and Development's eight principles already become outdated in today's sophisticated information‐communication society. There is a need to control/restrict use of personal information so that individuals' autonomy and freedom is ensured in the current situation and to revise the concept of the right to information privacy based on this idea.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a revision of the concept of the right to information privacy focused on control of, not access to, use of personal information. The revised concept is defined so that individuals' autonomy and freedom is ensured even in the “informational transparent” society.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 6 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 April 2008

Göran Collste

The world wide use of information and communication technology (ICT) is one aspect of globalisation. In the ethical discussion of the implications of ICT the right to…

2926

Abstract

Purpose

The world wide use of information and communication technology (ICT) is one aspect of globalisation. In the ethical discussion of the implications of ICT the right to privacy is in focus. However, ICT‐ethics has been developed in a Western context and hence, privacy might be a Western value without relevance in other cultures. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to discuss the general problem whether one can expect a global convergence on ICT‐ethics, with the right to privacy as a case in point. Is privacy a universal or contextual value?

Design/methodology/approach

In order to answer the research question, methods for conceptual and ethical analysis are used. The concept of privacy is analysed and an argument asserting that there is a deep disagreement between Western and Japanese understanding of a right to privacy is critically examined.

Findings

Privacy is a vague concept and it is not possible to identify one Western view of privacy and, hence, to distinguish between the Western and – for example – the Japanese views of privacy. Common arguments for privacy within ICT‐ethics do not presuppose contextual Western premises. While globalisation implies increasing inter‐cultural communication one may well envisage a growing global convergence of a right to privacy. Thus, there is not a deep cultural disagreement concerning the right to privacy.

Originality/value

The paper critically examines arguments for the view that privacy is a Western value without relevance in Japan. It clarifies the meaning of privacy and provides reasons why one can expect a global convergence of a right to privacy in particular and ICT‐ethics in general.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 6 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 27 June 2008

Yohko Orito and Kiyoshi Murata

The purpose of this paper is to analyse incidents of personal information leakage in Japan based on Japanese socio‐cultural characteristics of information privacy and to…

1272

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse incidents of personal information leakage in Japan based on Japanese socio‐cultural characteristics of information privacy and to consider how best to develop an effective personal information protection policy that conforms to Japanese situations as well as to the global requirement of personal information protection.

Design/methodology/approach

After describing recent incidents of personal information leakage in Japan, the paper examines the defects of the Act on Protection of Personal Information (APPI) that permit these incidents to continue. Subsequently, these incidents and the responses of the Japanese people in a manner that reflects the unique Japanese socio‐cultural characteristics of information privacy are analysed. Finally, the paper proposes a revision of APPI that conforms to these Japanese socio‐cultural characteristics as well as to the global requirement for personal information protection.

Findings

Personal information leakage cases and social responses in Japan reflect three Japanese socio‐cultural characteristics: Uchi/Soto awareness, insular collectivism and Hon'ne/Tatemae tradition. An effective law protecting personal information in Japan's cultural environment cannot be made simply by copying the privacy protection laws in western nations. Instead, legal protection of personal information should be drafted that reflects and takes into account these socio‐cultural characteristics.

Originality/value

This paper conducts analysis of incidents of personal information leakage in Japan based on Japanese socio‐cultural characteristics. A revision of APPI is proposed on the basis of the analysis. The paper's analysis and proposal would provide a good clue to develop effective measures to protect personal information and the right to information privacy in the global, multicultural information society.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 6 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2011

Yohko Orito

The purpose of this paper is to examine the social impacts of “silent control” of individuals by means of the architecture of dataveillance systems. It addresses the…

1021

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the social impacts of “silent control” of individuals by means of the architecture of dataveillance systems. It addresses the question whether individuals, in reality, can actually determine autonomously the kinds of information that they can acquire and convey in today's dataveillance environments. The paper argues that there is a risk of a “counter‐control revolution” that may threaten to reverse the “control revolution” described by Shapiro.

Design/methodology/approach

Using relevant business cases, this paper describes the nature of dataveillance systems, then it examines situations in which the intellectual freedom of individuals is silently constrained by the architecture of such systems. This analysis leads to the conclusion that individuals in today's information society face the risk of a “counter‐control revolution” that can threaten their intellectual freedom. Given this troubling conclusion, the present paper addresses the challenges of establishing socially acceptable dataveillance systems.

Findings

Intentionally or unintentionally, the architecture of dataveillance systems determines what kinds of information an individual can access or receive. This means that social sorting occurs based upon the processing of personal information by dataveillance systems; and, as a result, individuals' intellectual freedom could be constrained without their realising that it is happening. Under this circumstance, the ability of individuals to control the transmission and flow of information, recently made possible by the “control revolution”, already has been compromised by business organisations that operate dataveillance systems. It is business organisations, and not the individuals themselves, that control the kinds of information that individuals are able to acquire and transmit.

Originality/value

This paper provides an analysis of social risks caused by the architecture of dataveillance systems, and it introduces the concept of a “counter‐control revolution”. These contributions provide a good starting point to evaluate the social impacts of dataveillance systems and to establish better, more socially acceptable dataveillance systems.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 20 November 2019

Simon Rogerson

274

Abstract

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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