“Privacy” and Private Life

But in the contemporary world, mobile phones, tablets, and other GPS-equipped devices have made publicity our default setting. Again, being “always on” inverts or turns upside down earlier understandings of who we are and of our relationships with others. We will now see how this inversion and ransformation means, first of all, that we have to rethink our conceptions of privacy in dramatic ways. It may also well mean that we will likewise need to revisit and perhaps revise our earlier ethical and political philosophies. All of this is because, most fundamentally, these developments are profoundly reshaping our most basic assumptions about human selfhood and identity.

Cultural and philosophical considerations As “Waffles” reminds us at the opening of this chapter, individual privacy remains a core concern of contemporary teenagers – whatever their worried parents may think. Indeed, younger people have led the way in abandoning Facebook altogether in favor of more closed social media sites – including Snapchat and Instagram whose default is the erasure of postings within 24 hours. While the generations may disagree on the nature and limits of privacy, the key question is: what do we mean by “privacy?”

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
“Privacy” and Private Life
Just from $13/Page
Order Essay

In the US context and tradition, the conception of privacy begins with primarily physical notions: as the examples of bedroom and bathroom privacy exemplify, what we initially wanted to protect was the privacy of spaces, first of all our homes. That is, “privacy” does not appear as a basic right in the US Constitution or Bill of Rights: rather, it emerges only gradually, beginning with the seminal paper by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis in 1890. As Bernhard Debatin points out, the concept is rooted in Fourth Amendment protections against “unreasonable search and seizure” of private property.

Such a conception may have worked well in the days before electric media, such as telegraph, radio, and then the internet. But with the advent of phone calls or radio transmissions that could be intercepted and recorded unbeknownst to their primary senders and receivers, it gradually becomes clear that “privacy” is not simply a matter of protecting specific spaces. Rather, as we have seen, Luciano Floridi makes clear that what we want protected in an information age is precisely our information – information that, in digital form, is that much easier to access, copy, and distribute. But why would we worry? As Judith DeCew points out: “The expectation of privacy is grounded in the fear concerning how the information might be used or appropriated to pressure or embarrass one, to damage one’s credibility or economic status, and so on”. In short, we are afraid that someone and/or some organization will be able to use information about us to harm us – and/or those close to us – in some way.

We will explore the legal and philosophical dimensions of privacy more fully below. Here we’ll continue with the cultural aspects, remaining with “Western” societies. To begin with, in German, Norwegian, and Danish, for example, there are certainly counterparts to the English term “privacy” – namely, Privatheit (German) and privathet (Norwegian, Danish). But, especially in Denmark and Norway, “privacy” discussions focus much more on privatlivet – “private life.” Such private life encompasses not simply the interests and pursuits of a solitary individual: in addition, privatlivet is understood to involve one’s intimsfære, an “intimate sphere” of close friendships and relationships. These concepts thus do not map neatly onto earlier US notions of privacy as primarily an individual private space. In contrast to such a static or substantive conception, these notions of privatlivet and the intimsfære bring to the foreground our close relationships – relationships that are ongoing, evolving, and in some important ways negotiated over time.

Academic Heros
Calculate your paper price
Pages (550 words)
Approximate price: -

Why Work with Us

Top Quality and Well-Researched Papers

Our writers are encouraged to read and research widely to have rich information before writing clients’ papers. Therefore, be it high school or PhD level paper, it will always be a well-researched work handled by experts.

Professional and Experienced Academic Writers

For one to become part of our team, thorough interview and vetting is undertaken to make sure their academic level and experience are beyond reproach, hence enabling us give our clients top quality work.

Free Unlimited Revisions

Once you have received your paper and feel that some issues have been missed, just request for revision and it will be done. In addition, you can present your work to the tutor and he/she asks for improvement/changes, we are always ready to assist.

Prompt Delivery and 100% Money-Back-Guarantee

All our papers are sent to the clients before the deadline to allow them time to review the work before presenting to the tutor. If for some reason we feel our writers cannot meet the deadline, we will contact you to ask for more time. If this is not possible, then the paid amount will be refunded.

Original & Confidential

Our writers have been trained to ensure work produced is free of plagiarism. Software to check originality are also applied. Our clients’ information is highly guarded from third parties to ensure confidentiality is maintained.

24/7 Customer Support

Our support team is available 24 hours, 7 days a week. You can reach the team via live chat, email or phone call. You can always get in touch whenever you need any assistance.

Try it now!

Calculate the price of your order

Total price:

How it works?

Follow these simple steps to get your paper done

Place your order

Fill in the order form and provide all details of your assignment.

Proceed with the payment

Choose the payment system that suits you most.

Receive the final file

Once your paper is ready, we will email it to you.

Our Services

You have had a hectic day, and still need to complete your assignment, yet it is late at night. No need to panic. Place your order with us, retire to bed, and once you wake up, the paper will be ready.


Essay Writing Service

It does not matter the urgency of your paper, or the academic level, our team is ready to help you 24/7. Just contact us and all your academic needs will be sorted.


Admission Essays & Business Writing Help

A student is often required to write an admission letter requesting to be admitted in a certain institution. For you to be gain that admission in your dream institution, you must write a convincing letter. You can depend on our team for the best admission letters.


Editing Support

Academic writing is not just about getting information and throwing it all over. Our team will ensure you have a polished paper that is coherent and has a good flow of information. We also ensure the paper follows the correct formatting styles like APA, Harvard, MLA, Chicago/Turabian.


Revision Support

If our writers write a paper but you are not satisfied in one way or another, you can always ask for revision. This is totally free. Our writers and editors will revise your paper untill you are be totally satisfied. We as well offer revision for papers not done by our writers at a small fee.