Reconceptualizing Digital Privacy: Examining Two Alternatives ...

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  • Title: Reconceptualizing Digital Privacy: Examining Two Alternatives in the 2016 Presidential Election
  • Author(s): Arthur D Soto-Vásquez
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Common Ground Open
  • Journal Title: The Journal of Communication and Media Studies
  • Keywords: Political Privacy, 2016 Election, Digital Labor
  • Volume: 2
  • Issue: 2
  • Year: 2017
  • ISSN: 2470-9247 (Print)
  • ISSN: 2470-9255 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2470-9247/CGP/v02i02/33-45
  • Citation: Soto-Vásquez, Arthur D. 2017. "Reconceptualizing Digital Privacy: Examining Two Alternatives in the 2016 Presidential Election." The Journal of Communication and Media Studies 2 (2): 33-45. doi:10.18848/2470-9247/CGP/v02i02/33-45.
  • Extent: 13 pages

Abstract

Following the Snowden revelations of pervasive surveillance by the National Security Agency, Pew has found that forty-six percent of Americans still support the mass collection of data. While there was significant outrage after the revelations, the controversy has fallen out of the public eye and the surveillance state remains intact. In addition, commercial and political data collection by companies and campaigns also presents threats to privacy. In 2010, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook declared, “The age of privacy is over,” and other technology leaders have told the public to “get over it” when it comes to privacy concerns. The digital realm, where almost all commercial, political, and personal activity occurs, presents new ways to understand and conceptualize online activity. In this article, I argue that the traditional activities understood to be the domain of online privacy—sharing social media updates, commercial transactions, news gathering—can be reframed through the economic conceptions of labor and currency. This article uses the 2016 presidential election campaigns to analyze how online political privacy can be understood in a new context. As a result, this work reframes the debate over online privacy from a research perspective and also from a public-facing perspective.