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Data Privacy & Social Justice

This is a guide with information about data privacy & social justice, with events and articles on the subject


What is privacy?

Our engagement with technology and the internet has increased exponentially in the last decade with internet devices in our pockets, on street corners, and even in our household appliances. Maybe because of all this engagement, we assume that we understand our various internet-connected machines and activities. It's difficult to be fully aware of the data and internet surveillance complex, including the shifting surveillance laws governing digital spaces.

More fundamentally, what is privacy? In a legal sense, it means the rights of the individual to make personal decisions and conduct their lives without public scrutiny.  The right to privacy is protected by the Constitution and inferred in the language of the First, Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Fourteenth Amendments.

Digital privacy concerns the rights of individuals to decide how their digital information (personally identifiable information) is collected and used.

Daniel J. Solove,Yale Law School graduate and the John Marshall Harlan Research Professor of Law at the George Washington University Law School, articulates 10 reasons privacy is important:

Limits on power Control over one's life
Respect for the individual Freedom of thought and speech
Reputation management Freedom of social and political activities
Respect for social boundaries Ability to change and have second chances
Trust Not having to explain or justify yourself

This information is adapted from from the University of Portland Clark Library Digital Privacy Checkup and the Pratt Institute Library Internet and Data Privacy Guide