Austin on "Privacy and Freedom" by Westin

Lisa M. Austin (University of Toronto – Faculty of Law) has posted Rereading Westin (Theoretical Inquiries in Law, Forthcoming) on SSRN.  Here is the abstract: Alan Westin’s work Privacy and Freedom remains foundational to the field of privacy, and Westin is frequently cited for his definition of privacy as control over personal information. However, Westin’s full definition of privacy is much more complex than this statement, describing four states of privacy (solitude, intimacy, anonymity, and reserve) that one achieves through physical or psychological means. The “claim” of privacy involves negotiating a balance between a desire for disclosure and social participation and a desire for withdrawal into one of the “states” of privacy. Influencing this adjustment process are social norms (and surveillance to enforce social norms), environmental conditions, and the curiosity of others. In this Article, I draw upon this complexity…

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