The Journal of Value Inquiry

, Volume 45, Issue 1, pp 97–102 | Cite as

Helen Nissenbaum, Privacy in Context: Technology, Policy, and the Integrity of Social Life

Stanford Law Books, 2010, xiv + 288 pages, ISBN 978-0-8047-5237-4. $24.95 (Pb)
  • Tony Doyle
Book Review

The theme of this subtle and important book is the rising threat to privacy posed by information technology and its surpassing ability to gather, analyze, and distribute personal information. Nissenbaum is persuaded that standard conceptions of privacy are ill suited to deal with this shift. Privacy is not exclusively, as the twin orthodoxies have it, either the right to control personal information or the right to prevent access to a core of such information. Instead, it is about ensuring that personal information flows appropriately, and this varies contextually. So it is that Nissenbaum calls her own conception of privacy “contextual integrity.”

Privacy in Contextis divided into three parts: (1) “Information Technology’s Power and Threat,” (2) “Critical Survey of Predominant Approaches to Privacy,” and (3) “The Framework of Contextual Integrity.” Part 1 looks at the dramatic increase in the flow of personal information due to new technology’s capacity (a) to monitor our digital...

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hunter CollegeNew York USA

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