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Reasonable Expectations of Privacy Indicators
Erin Kenneally, International Computer Science Institute and U.S. Department of Homeland Security
The incumbent approach to defining our reasonable expectations of privacy (REP) fails to account for the evolved threats ushered by the Internet context. As a result, the privacy controls it anchors are being applied in an inconsistent, ad hoc, and precarious manner.
This paper briefly introduces a novel approach to domesticate REP and operationalize its application through privacy controls by taking cues from the playbook of network science. This approach re-conceptualizes information privacy as a scale-free network that follows power law dynamics, and it suggests gauging privacy risk by looking at the nature and quality of links and nodes controlling personal information artifacts rather than whether the interface to data is deemed public or private.
Conjecturally, the resulting privacy framework will achieve balance between individual rights protection and public good goals by advocating a regime of reciprocal obligations between the countervailing interests: the recognition of a more nuanced privacy continuum by private information controllers and more overt manifestations of REP by privacy subjects, both steeped in a network theory-informed understanding of information flows.
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