Abstract - The Information Society 14(4)

Places and Spaces: The Historical Interaction of Technology, Home, and Privacy

Stuart Shapiro

While recent developments in information and communication technologies have produced heightened concern over privacy issues, technology and privacy have a long history of interaction. The home has served as a key locus for this interaction. By distinguishing inside from outside, the home supports the allocation of particular behaviors and information to different areas, both physical and virtual. This paper explores how different technologies, including structural elements, have affected and reflected over time the boundary represented by the home and how that boundary has helped shape the construction of privacy in the West. This illustrates how privacy might be conceptualized as a social condition arising from the interaction of various boundaries, including the principal one separating the public and the private.

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