Group Privacy in the Age of Big Data

Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 126)


Until now, privacy protections have focused on guaranteeing individuals a measure of control over information relating to themselves. However, in the digital age, this protection has become less effective since data is constantly collected and stored in ways that make it difficult for the individual to have control over each piece of information. Furthermore, the information communicated by an individual, when processed in conjunction with other data points, may allow potentially harmful inferences to be drawn about other individuals and the groups to which they may belong. The potential of Big Data to harm groups, particularly in fragile contexts or areas of weak statehood, therefore raises a number of questions which this chapter seeks to explore: is there such a thing as group privacy, distinct from individual privacy? Is group privacy a workable concept? If so, should it be a legally enforceable right and how can it be protected? We begin by exploring various concepts of privacy and group; then discuss how to affirm and protect group privacy through a combination of traditional levers of power and better data management, security, and literacy.


Privacy Group privacy Human rights Group rights Discrimination Bias Algorithmic transparency 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Data-Pop AllianceNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.The Data-Pop Alliance / MIT Media LabNew York / BostonUSA

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