In this essay, I examine the philosophical, political, and economic aspects of privacy in the Internet Age and argue that a socialist theory of privacy is the most suited for the contemporary privacy issues of the Internet. In section 2, I examine classic theories of privacy and argue that a Restricted Access/Limited Control theory offers the best framework and should be refined as a socialist theory of privacy. In section 3, I assess this theory in the context of the Internet Age, using Internet cookies and data mining as primary examples. In section 4, I describe the economic goals of a socialist theory of privacy and contrast them to liberal privacy notions. In Section 5, I review current and proposed privacy policies in the United States and give recommendations on revising them to support a socialist theory of privacy. In Section 6, I conclude that a socialist theory of privacy defines moral and economic goals that align with what is best for society as a whole and that, although our current policies are not working towards these goals, there is a glimmer of hope with the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.
How to Cite:
Confer, S. and Heuple, K., 2017. A Socialist Theory of Privacy in the Internet Age: An Interdisciplinary Analysis. Philologia, 9. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/ph.v9i0.219