Presentation on theme: "From Privacy to Grey Ecology An Alternative Reading of Privacy CPDP 2013 Claire Lobet-Maris- CRIDS UNI Namur In collaboration with Stefana Broadbent –"— Presentation transcript:
From Privacy to Grey Ecology An Alternative Reading of Privacy CPDP 2013 Claire Lobet-Maris- CRIDS UNI Namur In collaboration with Stefana Broadbent – Digital Anthropology - UCLondon
From Risks to Pollution Risks and accidents are intrinsic to technological innovation, pollution is the side effect of progress, to some extent its normal but unacceptable companion. (P. Virilio, 1995) The risks of the digital era are well known (e.g. the end of privacy, viral attacks, epistemological opacity, piracy, surveillance…) and there is an active engagement to reduce their emergence and limit their effect But, there is little thought and concern about digital pollution.
From Privacy to Attention In the digital era, pollution could be conceptualized as the slow and invisible degradation of a key human and social capability : the Attention "...in an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients. Hence a wealth of information creates a poverty of attention and a need to allocate that attention efficiently among the overabundance of information sources that might consume it" (Simon 1971, pp. 40–41). As the ratio of produced information to available attention is constantly thinning, the control of this resource has become the major economic and political challenge of the digital era
Hypothesis The digital age is marked by the capture and the control of the attention for competitiveness … as the industrial one was marked by the capture and the control of the workers knowledge and know-how for productivity This hypothesis could reinforce the political and social consciousness about privacy as give a collective and political ground to better protect their privacy
Scope : From operation to intention The aim of this control is the management of the human uncertainty or non-previsibility BUT The scope is no more the operation or the operation and movement as it was the case in the industrial economy but the control, the anticipation and the fabrication of the human intention From what we are doing to what we intend to do, to think, to buy… like an epistemological membrane between oneself and the world …
Process : From expropriation to seduction In the industrial age, the capture and the rationalization of the workers know-how has been a process of expropriation giving raise to strong and collective resistance In the digital one, the capture of the human attention is based on seduction and therefore does not generate collective resistance » First of all because we are both object and subject of this economy of attention, trying also to capture the attention of the others by making our life attractive, changing and public » Secondly because attention is a bounded capacity and therefore we have to rely on new systems of awareness as profiles and social networks.
Front : From collective front to individual one In the industrial age, the rationalization of work and its computerization have generated social identity making possible collective protests and organizations In the digital one, the extreme individualization, opacity and volatility of the attention channeling lead to a loss of social identity and sense of otherness preventing collective solidarity or movement to protect privacy
Back to the attention If attention is the human condition for the relationships to oneself, the others and the world a sacred resource for the self identity construction and for the social interactions (see: E. Goffman) Then, its commoditizing and its constant scattering, channeling and framing could lead to a general loss of orientation The specific negative aspect of these information superhighways is precisely this loss of orientation regarding alterity (the other), this disturbance in the relationship with the other and with the world. It is obvious that this loss of orientation, this non-situation, is going to usher a deep crisis which will affect society and hence, democracy (P. Virilio, 1995)
From green ecology to grey ecology In the digital age, attention has to be considered as a scarce resource to be protected as are (or should be) the natural resources in the industrial one Grey ecology is an invitation to politicize a collective concern about attention, a new front of general interest a new ground for cultural and social movements
Grey ecology as a cultural ground for the digital era Grey ecology is a promising cultural and political path, allowing by a shared reflexivity about the digital technologies and their pollution, to sort out of the sterile pro and con debates (S. Rodota, 1999) … a new path to diffuse a cultural vigilance through schools and media … a new way to orientate the R&D policies towards projects which promotes clean technologies sustainable regarding our attention capacity … an new legal concern for the protection of the individual rights