Privacy encounters in Teledialogue

Andersen, L. B., Bøge, A. R., Danholt, P. & Lauritsen, P.
Privacy encounters in Teledialogue
Peer reviewed article
Information, Communication & Society

Privacy is a major concern when new technologies are introduced between public authorities and private citizens. What is meant by privacy, however, is often unclear and contested. Accordingly, this article utilises grounded theory to study privacy empirically in the research and design project Teledialogue aimed at introducing new ways for public case managers and placed children to communicate through IT. The resulting argument is that privacy can be understood as an encounter, that is, as something that arises between implicated actors and entails some degree of friction and negotiation. An argument which is further qualified through the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze. The article opens with a review of privacy literature before continuing to present privacy as an encounter with five different foci: what technologies bring into the encounter; who is related to privacy by implication; what is entailed by the spaces of Teledialogue; how privacy relates to projected futures; and how privacy is also an encounter between authority and care. In the end, it is discussed how privacy conceptualised as an encounter is not already there surrounding people or places but rather has to be traced in the specific and situated relations between implicated actors, giving rise to different normative concerns in each case.

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