In the era of mass surveillance, how do we define privacy, what its value is and how can we safeguard it?
In the era of mass surveillance, where not only do we actively engage in the surveillance of ourselves (Youtube, Iphones, Facebook etc) but fall victim to the indiscriminate dataveillance by the state (the systematic monitoring of people’s actions or communications through the application of information technology). The techniques of information collection (passports, tax filing, pay-roll, medical records, work permits, bank cards, etc.) in combination with human and machine surveillance make it difficult for citizens to understand how they can protect their identity and what should exactly remain private. Here, the issue of privacy or data protection has been hotly debated, but vague and ambiguous notions of what privacy really consists in have left us wondering what its value is, and what it is that is being infiltrated, extracted, invaded and captured.
One area of interest is the spatial terrain that we inhabit. It becomes necessary to understand the scope of surveillance in this respect regarding the intentional architectural design of institutions, airports, consumer space and the workplace. Intentionally designed by techniques to capture the maximum amount of data from the individual by restricting and directing spatial mobility and constant surveillance regardless of consent. If this is the case, then how do we define privacy, what its value is and how can we safeguard it?