• United States



by Dave Gradijan

Law Article Says Public Surveillance Violates Privacy

Jun 13, 20061 min
CSO and CISOData and Information Security

An article by Helen Nissenbaum in the Washington Law Review concludes that public surveillance violates a right to privacy because it violates contextual integrity.

Nissenbaum states that public surveillance includes the use of video, data and online media.

The article extends on her earlier work about the problem of privacy in public and explains why the more common approaches to privacy to meet older needs are unsatisfactory in the case of public surveillance.

She proposes that “contextual integrity” should be the new benchmark for privacy in regard to information technologies.

The abstract states the paper builds on the idea of “spheres of justice,” developed by political philosopher Michael Walzer. She writes that because public surveillance violates “contextual integrity,” it also constitutes injustice and even tyranny.

For more information on privacy and surveillance, read Privacy’s New Image and the September 2005 issue of CSO.

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Compiled by Paul Kerstein