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Negotiating the boundaries of Internet Privacy

Finnemore, Hayley Evans (2020) Negotiating the boundaries of Internet Privacy. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:84401)

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Abstract

Contemporary discussions around issues of data privacy tend to focus on the potential for data hacks and stolen identities, however, this is not something that many people will need to deal with. Individuals are much more likely to face issues around 'context collapse' (Vitak, 2012 p.451) and the daily work involved in negotiating the boundaries of internet privacy. Based on 26 interviews and over three-hundred internet surveys, this thesis examines concerns regarding how respondents feel about how much information they share with companies and online as well as their worries in terms of how much control they believe they have. I demonstrate how concerns tend to be around the contextual nature of privacy (Nissenbaum, 2010), in particular the type of information being shared and who it is being shared with. I make particular use of Raynes-Goldie's categorisations of privacy in terms of whether it is 'social' or 'institutional privacy' (p.81), as well as Floridi's (2005) categorisations of 'arbitrary' and 'ontic' (p.197/8) information.

Today, many believe they have little control over what happens to their data, however that is not to say that they have given up and I argue that small acts of 'evasion' and 'subversion' (Fiske, 1989 p.2) are employed to avoid sharing information when people do not want to. While these 'tactics' (de Certeau, 1988 p.185) can feel empowering to those employing them, ultimately, withdrawing from social media is not easy, particularly given the way in which it has become part of our daily lives. Eschewing social networking sites completely offers greater inconvenience, and potentially a loss of social connection with friends and family, leading to feelings of ambivalence for those opting to take this action.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Miller, Vince
Thesis advisor: Burgess, Adam
Uncontrolled keywords: Privacy; internet; boundaries; context
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2020 11:10 UTC
Last Modified: 13 May 2022 09:36 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/84401 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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