Power, knowledge, and the subjects of privacy: understanding privacy as the ally of surveillance (2014)

Foucault News

Coll, S.
Power, knowledge, and the subjects of privacy: understanding privacy as the ally of surveillance
(2014) Information Communication and Society. Article in Press.

Abstract
The aim of this article is to argue that privacy, rather than serving only as a countermeasure against surveillance, can also be seen as its ‘partner-in-crime’. Normative statements made by governments and companies on privacy can be regarded as a tool of governance in service of informational capitalism. Initially defined as a fundamental freedom, privacy has become a precondition for a blossoming economy in the context of the information society. The notion of privacy, as a critique of information society, has been assimilated and reshaped by and in favour of informational capitalism, notably by being over-individualized through the self-determination principle. To develop this idea, this article builds on the results of a study on the loyalty programmes run by the four biggest retailers of Switzerland…

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