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A Taxonomy of Privacy (2006) [pdf] (upenn.edu)
75 points by dredmorbius 7 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 8 comments





>Privacy is a concept in disarray. Nobody can articulate what it means. As one commentator has observed, privacy suffers from “an embarrassment of meanings.”

So true of many things we discuss, but it doesn't stop us from assuming everybody knows what we mean.

This is a great paper.


A ... disappointingly large number of what should be definitive or at least clear sources fail to define privacy: at all, precisely, or in any way that corresponds even vaguely with the sense I have of the term.

Solove is the first sharp exception I've found to that, and is writing of the current, highly technological and pervasive landscape.

His observation is accurate.


"When we contemplate an invasion of privacy–-such as having our personal information gathered by companies in databases–-we instinctively recoil. Many discussions of privacy appeal to people’s fears and anxieties.9 What commentators often fail to do, however, is translate those instincts into a reasoned, well-articulated account of why privacy problems are harmful."

I came across a practical discussion of this on reddit -> https://www.reddit.com/r/privacy/comments/ez1tyo/how_do_i_co.... it's helpful but also befuddling.


I find most of the discussions on r/privacy befuddling.

That comment by /u/DocMorp gets it right:

"The problem is abstract. So you have to find examples where they are actually directly negatively affected."

Online privacy IS an abstract concept. To the layman, digital privacy != physical privacy. Even on forums dedicated to the subject, its importance cannot be explained simply in plain words.


This is a seminal article. I remember reading it in Law School, and while it was not quite 'enjoyable', it's certainly very readable.

It combines two of my favourite things. Privacy, and making taxonomies.

The general structure seems quite sensible, at first glance.


Lots of case law studies. Great read and reference.

Interesting. Online, there are differences between say privacy and anonymity. TOR allows ads & trackers but standardizes/blocks a lot of things to provide anonymity (a kind of blending in). The Epic Privacy Browser blocks ads, trackers and lots of things to provide privacy (a kind of hiding).



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