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Contextual Privacy and the Control of Information: An Account of the Socio-Technical Commitments of Blockchain Technologies

Friday, 16 December 2016, 12:30 – 1:30pm

Contextual Privacy and the Control of Information: An Account of the Socio-Technical Commitments of Blockchain Technologies

A public lecture by Quinn DuPont (University of Toronto) organised by the Adapt Centre for Digital Technology.

Abstract: This exploratory talk will introduce Helen Nissenbaum’s “contextual integrity” framework for understanding how privacy works on blockchains. In doing so, Quinn hopes to better understand how blockchain technologies can be normatively evaluated in terms of potential privacy functions, a topic that has hitherto been explored pragmatically (by developing technological solutions), but has not yet received rigorous philosophical analysis. Of the many potential ways to understand privacy, Nissenbaum’s approach has garnered significant interest in recent years because it is ideally suited to the kinds of dynamics present in information and communication technologies. Nissenbaum’s framework stipulates context-specific values of appropriateness and information flow in determining privacy justifications. Given the ways that identity is managed in blockchain systems, which comes with a set of socio-technical commitments, the contextual integrity framework offers a useful starting point to understand privacy justifications for blockchains. 

This paper considers how these two very different sides of the new state, the elegance poise of the pre-Enlightenment and an often mean-spirited political activism, were reflected in the output of the printing press.  It draws on work undertaken by the St Andrews Universal Short Title Catalogue project group, not least in Trinity College Dublin, home, with the Fagel collection, to the largest collection of Dutch pamphlet material outside the Low Countries.  What emerges is evidence of an often surprisingly conservative taste in reading, which existed alongside widespread innovation in media forms, used not just to serve a traditional reading public, but for advertising, lobbying and the development of Europe’s most vigorous culture of news and public information.

Campus LocationTrinity Long Room Hub
Accessibility: Yes
Event Type: Alumni, Arts and Culture, Campus information, Careers, Children’s activities, Classes, Conferences, Courses, Exhibits, External sport events, Key dates, Lectures and Seminars, Library, Public, Science Gallery, Special events, Student events, Trinity Sport events, Workshops and Training
Type of Event: One-time event
Audience: Undergrad, Postgrad, Alumni, Faculty & Staff, Public
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