Privacy Risks and Responses in the Digital Age

  • Josh CowlsEmail author
Part of the Digital Ethics Lab Yearbook book series (DELY)


Digital devices, the data they collect, and the algorithms that process this data have transformed government, business and everyday life. In this chapter I offer a brief introduction to privacy in the context of American jurisprudence. I then identify major risks to personal privacy that occur at three stages of the “lifecycle” of data: infrastructural asymmetry at the point of data collection, distortion at the point of data analysis, and discrimination at the point of deployment of the insights of data analysis. Having identified these risks, I then introduce a framework consisting of four categories of responses that can be adopted to mitigate them. These categories of responses apply at the level of the individual and of society at large, and in both instrumental and epistemological senses. I conclude by arguing that this framework should serve as a basis for future research into the effects of ICTs on privacy.


Privacy Personal data Surveillance Algorithms 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Oxford Internet Institute, Digital Ethics LabUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.The Alan Turing InstituteLondonUK

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