“Privacy is the interest that individuals have in sustaining a ‘personal space’, free from interference by other people and organizations”[i] and it’s “about the integrity of the individual”[ii]. These are broad working definitions of privacy which Roger Clarke has used for decades.
If we agree that privacy is related to the individual who also has social needs, starting with fulfilling physiological needs, then we can consider the dimensions of privacy alongside the aspects of individuals social needs by considering Maslowian thinking derived from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow 1943)[iii].
Clark set out several dimensions of privacy which have evolved over time including privacy of the person, personal behaviour, personal communications, privacy of personal data and personal experience.[iv] The two dimensions most prevalent today in the news may be privacy of personal data and of personal communications.
·Privacy of the person
The integrity of the human body is related to Maslowian hierarchy on a foundational level of the pyramid titled ‘Physiological and Safety’. The issues found here are commonly founded in human rights concerns such as compulsory immunizations, drug testing, sterilization, and blood transfusions without consent.
·Privacy of communications (‘interception privacy'[v])
People have the expectation of privacy when they communicate with each other on various platforms, without being surveilled by other people or organizations (interception of electronic communications by police/government). This relates to two levels of Maslow’s hierarchy- Belonging and Self-Esteem.
New technologies will continue to create greater opportunity for invasions of privacy directly affecting the integrity of the individual.
[i] Roger Clark “What’s Privacy” http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/Privacy.html Page 6 of 9
[ii] Roger Clark “What’s Privacy” http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/Privacy.html Page 3 of 9
[iii] Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs (Maslow 1943) https://www.simplypsychology.org/maslow.html
[iv] EXIAPP8173: Privacy in a Liberal Democray, Module 1, Fall 2018 Page 8 of 24
[v] Roger Clark “What’s Privacy” http://www.rogerclarke.com/DV/Privacy.html Page 3 of 9