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Privacy in Public Space

Conceptual and Regulatory Challenges Edited by Tjerk Timan, Bryce Clayton Newell and Bert-Jaap Koops, Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society (TILT), Tilburg University, the Netherlands
This book examines privacy in public space from both legal and regulatory perspectives. With on-going technological innovations such as mobile cameras, WiFi tracking, drones and augmented reality, aspects of citizens’ lives are increasingly vulnerable to intrusion. The contributions describe contemporary challenges to achieving privacy and anonymity in physical public space, at a time when legal protection remains limited compared to ‘private’ space. To address this problem, the book clearly shows why privacy in public space needs defending. Different ways of conceptualizing and shaping such protection are explored, for example through ‘privacy bubbles’, obfuscation and surveillance transparency, as well as revising the assumptions underlying current privacy laws.
Extent: c 320 pp
Hardback Price: $150.00 Web: $135.00
Publication Date: November 2017
ISBN: 978 1 78643 539 2
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  • Law - Academic
  • Internet and Technology Law
  • Regulation and Governance
  • Politics and Public Policy
  • Regulation and Governance
With ongoing technological innovations such as mobile cameras, WiFi tracking, drones, and augmented reality, aspects of citizens’ lives are becoming increasingly vulnerable to intrusion. This book brings together authors from a variety of disciplines (philosophy, law, political science, economics, and media studies) to examine privacy in public space from both legal and regulatory perspectives.

The contributors explore the contemporary challenges to achieving privacy and anonymity in physical public space at a time when legal protection remains limited in comparison to ‘private’ space. To address this problem, the book clearly demonstrates why privacy in public space needs defending. Different ways of conceptualizing and shaping such protection are explored, for example through ‘privacy bubbles’, obfuscation and surveillance transparency, as well as by revising the assumptions underlying current privacy laws.

Scholars and students who teach and study issues of privacy, autonomy, technology, urban geography and the law and politics of public spaces will be interested in this book.
‘The deepest conundrum in the privacy world—especially, in light of the internet of other people’s things—is perhaps the notion of privacy in public. Unraveling this practically Kantian antinomy is the ambitious aim of this important new collection. Together and apart, this intriguing assemblage of scientists, social scientists, philosophers and lawyers interrogate subjects ranging from conceptual distinctions between ‘space’ and ‘place’ and the social practice of ‘hiding in plain sight,’ to compelling ideas such as ‘privacy pollution’ and the problem of ‘out-of-body DNA.’ With this edited volume, the team from TILT has curated a convincing account of the importance of preserving privacy in increasingly public spaces.’
– Ian Kerr, University of Ottawa, Canada

‘A most welcome book on the most neglected of topics by a pioneering team of interdisciplinary scholars. The volume illuminates the rendering asunder of the borders that previously protected personal information, even when the individual was in “public” and helps us see the muddying of the simple distinction between public and private. The book asks what public and private mean (and should mean) today as smart phones, embedded sensors and related devices overwhelm the barriers of space, time, physicality, and inefficiency that previously protected information. This collection offers a needed foundation for future conceptualization and research on privacy in literal and virtual public spaces. It should be in the library of anyone interested in the social, policy and ethical implications of information technologies.’
– Gary T. Marx, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US

‘At a time of rapid change in the technologies of surveillance and data capture, how are the spatial and informational dimensions of privacy to be articulated in “public” spaces? With the disruption of the distinction between the private and the public, where, when, and how may agents reasonably expect to control and maintain their own (private) space and their own (private) business? Drawing on a number of interdisciplinary perspectives, the contributions in this collection offer some valuable insights into how we might engage with these questions of privacy in public.’
– Roger Brownsword, King's College London, UK

‘Public space is increasingly being privatised and enclosed or is subject to invasive surveillance raising a number of social, political, moral and legal questions. Adopting an interdisciplinary perspective and using empirical case studies, this volume usefully explicates a series of philosophical, legal and regulatory concerns and suggests possible responses. Collectively, the chapters add fresh impetus and insights to a long-standing and growing concern, producing a richer understanding of the relationship between privacy and public space.’
– Rob Kitchin, Maynooth University, Ireland

‘Privacy in Public Space: Conceptual and Regulatory Challenges is a wonderful collection of chapters by contemporary privacy scholars. The book’s distinctiveness arises both from the interdisciplinary approaches used by the authors to analyze various theoretical, contextual, and empirical issues, and from its singular focus on addressing the problem of privacy in public. Rich with theory and applications, the book is accessible, timely, and will repay a close reading.’
– Adam D. Moore, University of Washington, US
Contributors include: M. Brincker, A. Daly, A.M. Froomkin, M. Gali?, J.M. Hildebrand, B.-J. Koops, M. Leta, K. Mause, M. Nagenborg, B.C Newell, A.E. Scherr, T. Timan, S.B. Zhao
















Contents:

Introduction: Conceptual directions for privacy in public space
Tjerk Timan, Bryce Clayton Newell, and Bert-Jaap Koops

Part I: Philosophical and Empirical Insights
1. Conceptualising Space and Place: Lessons from Geography for the Debate on Privacy in Public
Bert-Jaap Koops and Maša Gali?

2. Hidden in plain sight
Michael Nagenborg

3. Privacy in public and the contextual conditions of agency
Maria Brincker

4. A politico-economic perspective on privacy in public spaces
Karsten Mause

5. Visually Distant and Virtually Close: Public and Private Spaces in the Archives de la Planète (1909–1931) and Life in a Day (2011)
Julia M. Hildebrand

Part II: Law and Regulation
6. Exposure and concealment in digitized public spaces
Steven B. Zhao

7. Covering up: American and European legal approaches to public facial anonymity after S.A.S. v France
Angela Daly

8. Privacy impact notices to address the privacy pollution of mass surveillance
A. Michael Froomkin

9. Privacy in Public Spaces: The Problem of Out-of-Body DNA
Albert E. Scherr

10. The Internet of Other People’s Things
Meg Leta Jones

Conclusion
11. The need for privacy in public space
Tjerk Timan

Index