Ethics and Information Technology

, Volume 7, Issue 1, pp 37–47 | Cite as

Privacy. An Intercultural Perspective

  • Rafael Capurro


This paper deals with intercultural aspects of privacy, particularly with regard to differences between Japanese and Western conceptions. It starts with a reconstruction of the genealogy of Western subjectivity and human dignity as the basic assumptions underlying Western views on privacy. An analysis of the Western concept of informational privacy is presented. The Japanese topic of ‘‘denial of self” (Musi) as well as the concepts of Seken, Shakai and Ikai (as analyzed by the authors of the companion piece on privacy in Japan) give rise to intercultural comparisons. The paper addresses the question of privacy in cyberspace and mass media. Finally the question of freedom of speech is related to the Japanese concepts of Ohyake and Watakusi.


autonomy cyberspace denial of self freedom of speech human dignity Ikai informational privacy intercultural information ethics Japan mass media Musi Ohyake privacy Seken self Shakai subjectivity Watakusi Western countries 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hochschule der Medien, University of Applied SciencesStuttgartGermany

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