Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Seminar 4 Position Statement: Prof. Joshua Cohen, Goldsmiths, Univ. of London
By Prof. Joshua Cohen, Goldsmiths, Univ. of London
I want to argue that the political stakes of the privacy debate are as much imaginative as they are legal. The case for the right to privacy cannot rest solely on the demand for legal control and ownership of one’s data. The various and intersecting intrusions of state, corporations and the media impinge not only on externally verifiable aspects of my privacy – the insides of my home, bank account or computer, say – but on the more elusive and opaque privacy of my inner life.
A self coerced into permanent transparency, will come to feel constrained not only in what she can say, but in what she can think and imagine. A surveillance society – not only the persecutory monitoring of the Orwellian state, but the more tacitly imposed, mutual monitoring of social media culture – impinges on the interior space of affect and imagination which ensures I can never be fully transparent to others or to myself.