Do privacy rights restrict what is permissible to infer about others based on statistical evidence? This paper replies affirmatively by defending the following symmetry: there is not necessarily a morally relevant difference between directly appropriating people’s private information—say, by using an X-ray device on their private safes—and using predictive technologies to infer the same content, at least in cases where the evidence has a roughly similar probative value. This conclusion is of theoretical interest because a comprehensive justification of the thought (...) that statistical inferences can violate privacy rights is lacking in the current literature. Secondly, the conclusion is of practical interest due to the need for moral assessment of emerging predictive algorithms. (shrink)
According to the relational egalitarian theory of justice, justice requires that people relate as equals. To relate as equals, many relational egalitarians argue, people must (i) regard each other as equals, and (ii) treat each other as equals. In this paper, we argue that, under conditions of background injustice, such relational egalitarians should endorse affirmative action in the ways in which (dis)esteem is attributed to people as part of the regard-requirement for relating as equals.
Andrei Marmor has recently offered a narrow interpretation of the right to privacy as a right to having a reasonable amount of control over one's self‐presentation. He claims that the interest people have in preventing others from abusing their personal information to do harm is not directly protected by the right to privacy. This article rejects that claim and defends a view according to which concerns about abuse play a central role in fleshing out the appropriate scope of a general (...) right to privacy. (shrink)
If I decide to disclose information about myself, this act can undermine other people’s ability to effectively conceal information about themselves. One case in point involves genetic information: if I share ‘my’ genetic information with others, I thereby also reveal genetic information about my biological relatives. Such dependencies are well-known in the privacy literature and are often referred to as ‘privacy dependencies’. Some take the existence of privacy dependencies to generate a moral duty to sometimes avoid sharing information about oneself. (...) If true, we argue, then it is sometimes justified for others to impose harm on the person sharing the information to prevent them from doing so. This is a highly revisionary implication. Hence, one must either endorse a highly revisionary view on what one may do to protect one’s privacy, or one must reject the view that privacy dependencies can be used to justify a moral duty that constrains choices about sharing information about oneself. (shrink)
Most studies on the ethics of privacy focus on what others ought to do to accommodate our interest in privacy. I focus on a related but distinct question that has attracted less attention in the literature: When, if ever, does morality require us to safeguard our own privacy? While we often have prudential reasons for safeguarding our privacy, we are also, at least sometimes, morally required to do so. I argue that we, sometimes, ought to safeguard our privacy for the (...) sake of the possible wrongdoer, in order to prevent the possible wrongdoer from committing a morally defiling act that renders them worse off. I illustrate the variety of cases in which this duty binds us and contrast my view to some other claims in the literature which also purport to show that we sometimes have a duty to safeguard our own privacy. (shrink)
Mainz and Uhrenfeldt have recently claimed that a violation of the right to privacy can be defined successfully under reliance on the notion of ‘Negative Control’. In this reply, I show that ‘Negative Control’ is unrelated to privacy right violations. It follows that control theorists have yet to put forth a successful normative account of privacy.
Some say that we should respect the privacy of dead people. In this article, I take this idea for granted and use it to motivate the stronger claim that we sometimes ought to respect the privacy of our past selves.