Privacy is increasingly important in an age of facial recognition technologies, mass data collection, and algorithmic decision-making. Yet it persists as a contested term, a behavioural paradox, and often fails users in practice. This article critiques current methods of thinking privacy in protectionist terms, building on Deleuze's conception of the society of control, through its problematic relation to freedom, property and power. Instead, a new mode of understanding privacy in terms of performativity is provided, drawing on Butler and Sedgwick as well as Cohen and Nissenbaum. This new form of privacy is based on identity, consent and collective action, a process to be performed individually and together to create new structures that instil respect at the heart of our sociotechnical systems.
Benjamin, G. (2020). From protecting to performing privacy. Journal of Sociotechnical Critique, 1(1), 1–30. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.25779/erx9-hf24
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