Ethics and Information Technology

, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp 185–200 | Cite as

The Ontological Interpretation of Informational Privacy

  • Luciano Floridi


The paper outlines a new interpretation of informational privacy and of its moral value. The main theses defended are: (a) informational privacy is a function of the ontological friction in the infosphere, that is, of the forces that oppose the information flow within the space of information; (b) digital ICTs (information and communication technologies) affect the ontological friction by changing the nature of the infosphere (re-ontologization); (c) digital ICTs can therefore both decrease and protect informational privacy but, most importantly, they can also alter its nature and hence our understanding and appreciation of it; (d) a change in our ontological perspective, brought about by digital ICTs, suggests considering each person as being constituted by his or her information and hence regarding a breach of one’s informational privacy as a form of aggression towards one’s personal identity.


information ethics informational privacy infosphere ontological friction personal identity 


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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze FilosoficheUniversità degli Studi di BariBariItaly
  2. 2.Faculty of Philosophy and Information Ethics GroupOUCL, Oxford UniversityOxfordUK
  3. 3.Wolfson CollegeOxfordUK

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