The Privacy Dependency Thesis and Self-Defense

AI and Society:1-11 (forthcoming)
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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.

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Author Profiles

Lauritz Munch
Aarhus University
Jakob Mainz
Aalborg University (PhD)

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Collective harm and the inefficacy problem.Julia Nefsky - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (4):e12587.
Privacy Is Power.Carissa Véliz - 2020 - London, UK: Penguin (Bantam Press).
Defensive Killing.Helen Frowe - 2014 - Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Self-defense.Judith Jarvis Thomson - 1991 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 20 (4):283-310.

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