Female Scientist Lecture: “Normative Paradoxes of Privacy and Diversity – Computing Literacy, Choice, and Inclusion in Platform Societies” with Dr. Paula Helm

Legal Scholars, ethicists, and activists repeatedly emphasize the fact that current measures of privacy protection are insufficient to counter the systemic threats presented by platformization and, most recently, also the AI-fication of our communicative infrastructures. These threats include discrimination against underprivileged groups, monopolization of power and knowledge, as well as manipulation. In my research, I take this analysis one step further, suggesting that the consequences of inappropriate privacy protection online possibly even run counter to the normative principles that underpinned the standard clause for privacy protection and diversity measures in the first place. I discuss the ways in which attempts at protection run the risk of producing results that not only diverge from but, paradoxically, even distort the normative goals they intended to reach: informational self-determination, empowerment, equity, tolerance, and autonomy. Drawing on the framework of 'normative paradoxes', I argue that we must be wary of simplifying highly complex and contested values such as privacy or diversity, and of the temptation to take shortcuts that allow for measurability and scalability. Drawing on various empirical examples, I show the problems that these simplifications and shortcuts can lead to, both in terms of performance and ethical dangers.  I show how they ultimately promote precisely those material-discursive practices of digital use and AI-fication that ultimately interfere with our privacy and threaten to lead to a sweeping homogenization of ideas and forms of expression. Last but not least, I will present some initiatives that strive for differentiated solutions for embedding central values in socio-technical systems.

Dr. Paula Helm is a Research Fellow at the Research Center for Information System Design, the Research Unit Sociological Theory and the Graduate College „Privacy and Trust for Mobile Users“. Paula will give a talk on ethical complexity and IT design.

Further information: https://www.tu-darmstadt.de/information-and-intelligence/researchfield_ii/news_events_ii/newsdetails_ii_440256.en.jsp


Verwandte Links