Denise Anthony argues for the conceptualization of privacy as social, relational, and contextual, which recognizes that privacy intersects with social structures and institutions to affect not only individuals, but also groups and communities, and indeed the organization and functioning of society. Understanding privacy as such provides the basis for identifying the varying social and institutional forces that enable or erode privacy, thus providing the basis for a stronger defense of privacy against the forces of surveillance enabled by Big Data. In addition, this view of privacy as embedded in social and cultural conditions, with collective as well as individual consequences, is necessary to better design and develop technologies to enable privacy while also encouraging the benefits of Big Data.
Denise Anthony is Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives, and Professor and past-Chair (2007-11) in the Department of Sociology at Dartmouth College. From 2008-2013 she was Research Director of the Institute for Security, Technology, and Society (ISTS) at Dartmouth.
Dr. Anthony’s work explores issues of cooperation, trust and privacy in a variety of settings, from health care delivery to micro-credit borrowing groups to online groups such as Wikipedia and Prosper.com. Her current work examines the use of information technology in health care, including effects on quality, on the organization of health care, as well as the implications for the privacy and security of protected health information. Her multi-disciplinary research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and others, and published in sociology as well as in health policy and computer science journals, including among others the American Sociological Review, Social Science and Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Health Affairs, and IEEE Pervasive Computing.