Privacy Arena

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Study on the mapping and analysis of the privacy arena.

The exploration project aims to develop and exemplarily test the conceptual and methodological means for an interdisciplinary work and research program in which a comprehensive and analytically in-depth cartography of the conflict landscape on the topic of "Privacy and Self-Determined Living in the Digital World" is to be undertaken. By means of exemplary explorations of current conflict zones in which different positions on the transformation of privacy - from post-privacy advocates to civil rights groups - clash, it is intended to pave the way for a fundamental investigation of the "privacy arena" that will allow the research field as a whole to be structured and the significance of individual questions, for example on the dichotomization and/or dissolution of boundaries between the public and private spheres, to be better classified. At present, the field still largely lacks such an overview.

By focusing on the concept of an arena in which privacy issues are discussed and negotiated in a variety of ways, we will take into account the fact that in today's age of digital networking, privacy no longer denotes a generally shared, clear societal guiding value, but rather a contested problem concept challenged by numerous unknowns of societal development.

From a jurisprudential perspective, too, the normative definition of privacy and self-determination is becoming increasingly difficult under conditions of technological change and an empirical plurality of justificatory approaches, which is why the conceptual foundations should be rethought. In particular, the demarcation between privacy and the public sphere as well as the fundamental data protection conflicts need to be explored.

The increase in legal, practical and ethical gray areas clearly demonstrates that politics and jurisprudence are dependent on expertise regarding the empirical and theoretical status of privacy under current social and technical conditions. This is what the project aims to contribute to.


Project Partners
Department of Sociological Theory, University of Kassel
International Center for Ethics in the Sciences and Humanities (IZEW), Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen

Project info

Federal Ministry of Education and Research

November 2013 - December 2016

Responsible for the project:
Prof. Dr. Alexander Roßnagel
Dr. Silke Jandt

Dr . Christian Geminn