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  • WorkinProgressPaperfordiscussionatthePrivacyLawScholarsConferenceonJune2,2011inBerkeley,CA.Feedbackwanted!

    DraftDate:May9,2011 1

    SocialPrivacyinNetworkedPublics:TeensAttitudes,Practices,[email protected][email protected],17,NC1:Everyteenagerwantsprivacy.Everysinglelastoneofthem,whethertheytellyouornot,wantsprivacy.Justbecauseanadultthinkstheyknowthepersondoesntmeantheyknowtheperson.Andjustbecauseteenagersuseinternetsitestoconnecttootherpeopledoesntmeantheydontcareabouttheirprivacy.Wedonttelleverybodyeverysinglethingaboutourlives.Wetellthemgeneralinformationnames,places,whatweliketodobutthatsgeneralknowledge.ThatsnotsomethingyouliketokeepprivateOh,Iplaygames.Ibetternottellanybodyaboutthat.Imeanthatsnotsomethingthatwedo.Sotogoaheadandsaythatteenagersdontlikeprivacyisprettyignorantandinconsideratehonestly,Ibelieve,ontheadultspart.TheresawidespreadmyththatAmericanteenagersdontcareaboutprivacy.Thelogicissimple:WhyelsewouldteenagerssharesomuchonFacebookandTwitterandYouTube?2ThereislittledoubtthatmanybutnotallAmericanteenshaveembracedmanypopularsocialmediaservices.3Andthereislittledoubtthatthosewhohavearepostingphotos,sharinglinks,updatingstatusmessages,andcommentingoneachothersposts.4Yet,asWafflesexplainsabove,participationinsuchnetworkedpublicsdoesnotimplythattodaysteenshaverejectedprivacyasavalue.Allteenshaveasenseofprivacy,althoughtheirdefinitionsofprivacyvarywidely.Theirpracticesinnetworkedpublicsareshapedbytheirinterpretationofthesocialsituation,theirattitudestowardsprivacyandpublicity,andtheirabilitytonavigatethetechnologicalandsocialenvironment.Assuch,theydevelopintricate1Thenamesusedinthisarticlearepseudonyms.Somewerechosenbytheparticipantsthemselves;otherswerechosenbytheauthorstoreflectsimilargenderandethnicrootsasareembeddedintheparticipantsgivennames.Allidentifyinginformationinteensquoteshasbeenalteredtomaintainconfidentiality.2A2008HarrisInteractive/CTIAsurveyaboutteensrelationshiptotheirmobilewaspublicizedasindicatingthatkidsdontcareaboutprivacybecauseonly41%indicatedthattheywereconcernedaboutprivacyandsecurityissueswhenusingtheirmobile:http://files.ctia.org/pdf/HI_TeenMobileStudy_ResearchReport.pdfIn2010,ChrisJayHoofnagle,JenniferKing,SuLi,andJosephTurowfoundthatyoungpeoplesattitudesaboutprivacyparalleladultsattitudes,buttheirskillsinmanagingprivacyonlineareoftenlacking.3AsofSeptember2009,thePewInternetandAmericanLifeProjectfoundthat73%ofAmericanteensages1217useasocialnetworksite;only8%ofteensintheirsampleusedTwitter.SeeLenhartet.al.2010.4Ofteenswhoareonsocialnetworksites,Pewfoundthat86%commentonfriendsposts.Theyalsofoundthat38%ofteensages1217sharedcontentonline;14%keepablog.SeeLenhartet.al.2010.

  • WorkinProgressPaperfordiscussionatthePrivacyLawScholarsConferenceonJune2,2011inBerkeley,CA.Feedbackwanted!

    DraftDate:May9,2011 2

    strategiestoachieveprivacygoals.Theirpracticesdemonstrateprivacyasasocialnormthatisachievedthroughawidearrayofsocialpracticesconfiguredbystructuralconditions.Howteensapproachprivacychallengesthewaysinwhichprivacyiscurrentlyconceptualized,discussed,andregulated.Thispaperexamineshowteensunderstandprivacyandwhatstrategiestheytakeintheireffortstoachievesocialprivacy.Wedescribebothteenspracticesandthestructuralconditionsinwhichtheyareembedded,highlightingthewaysinwhichprivacy,asitplaysoutineverydaylife,isrelatedmoretoagencyandtheabilitytocontrolasocialsituationthanparticularpropertiesofinformation.Finally,wediscusstheimplicationsofteenspractices,revealingtheimportanceofsocialnormsasaregulatoryforce.Thedatausedinthispapercomefromethnographicfieldworkcollectedacross20differentU.S.statesfrom20062010.Inadditiontobothonlineandofflineparticipantobservation,weconducted16390minutesemistructuredinterviews.5Westrategicallyworkedtosampleacrossgender,race,ethnicity,religion,age,socioeconomicbackground,politicalbackground,andschoolengagementlevel.Alloftheteensthatweinterviewedwereinhighschoolorhadrecentlydroppedoutofhighschool.Weusedajudgmentsampletoelicitdiverseperspectivesratherthanattemptingtoobtainarepresentativesample.Privacywasthecentraltopicof58interviewsconductedinNorthCarolina,Massachusetts,Tennessee,andWashingtonDCin2010.Whilewedrawfromtheexperiencesofalltheteensweinterviewed,thevoicesofinformantsfromtheseregionsareoverrepresentedinthediscussion.WhatisPrivacy?Privacyisafraughtconcept,withnoclearagreedupondefinition.Philosophersandlegalscholarshaveworkeddiligentlytoconceptuallylocateprivacyandofferaframeworkforconsideringhowandwhenithasbeenviolated.6Yet,fundamentally,privacyisasocialconstructthatreflectsthevaluesandnormsofeverydaypeople.Howpeopleconceptualizeprivacyandlocateitintheirlifevarieswildly,5Thisethnographicprojectisanextensionoftheonedescribedindanahboyds2008TakenOutofContext:AmericanTeenSocialityinNetworkedPublics.Adetailedaccountofthemethodologicalproceduresisavailablethere.6Thedefinitionsofprivacyarenumerous.HelenNissenbaum(2010)relatesmultipledefinitionsofprivacyandgroupsthembasedonwhethertheyarenormativeordescriptive;emphasizeaccessvs.control;oremphasizepromotingothervaluesvs.protectingaprivaterealm.TheseincludedefinitionsfromRuthGavison(ameasureoftheaccessothershavetoyouthroughinformation,attention,andphysicalproximity)(68);JeffreyReiman(theconditionunderwhichotherpeoplearedeprivedofaccesstoeithersomeinformationaboutyouorsomeexperienceofyou)(1976,30);Westinstheclaimofindividuals,groups,orinstitutionstodetermineforthemselveswhen,how,andtowhatextentinformationaboutthemiscommunicatedtoothers(Westin1967,7),andAnitaAllen(whodefinesthreetypesofprivacy:physicalprivacy,informationalprivacy,andproprietaryprivacy,71).SeeNissenbaum2010forafulldiscussion.

  • WorkinProgressPaperfordiscussionatthePrivacyLawScholarsConferenceonJune2,2011inBerkeley,CA.Feedbackwanted!

    DraftDate:May9,2011 3

    highlightingthatauniversalnotionofprivacyremainsenigmatic.7Whenweaskedteenstodefineprivacyforus,theircacophonousresponsesrevealthediverseapproachesthatcanbetakentounderstandprivacy.8Whilethesediscussionsdonothelptodetermineaprecisedefinitionofprivacy,howteensattempttoexplainprivacydemonstratesitsimportancetothem.Bothlegallyandphilosophically,privacyhasbeenconceptualizedasadichotomyinwhichpeopleareentitledtogreaterprivacyprotectionsinthedomesticsphereduetoitsintimateandpersonalnature.9Althoughteensrecognizethespatialdimensionofprivacy,thisdichotomydoesnotreflecttherealitiesofyoungpeopleslives.Forexample,Jabari(17,TN)arguesthatprivacyishavingmyownspaceandnotnecessarilynothavingpeopleinvolvedinmylife,buthavingtheopportunitytobealoneortousemyspaceindividually.Jared(17,TN)alsorecognizesthatprivacyisusuallyunderstoodintermsofspace,buthebelievesthatitisimpossibletoactuallyachievephysicalprivacybecauseeveryoneisalwaysinvadinghisspace;helivesinaoneroomapartmentwithhisbrother,hisfather,andhisfathersdownonhisluckfriend.Givenfewopportunitiestoexperiencephysicalprivacy,hefocusesinsteadonwhathehascontrolover:histhoughts.Theonlyprivacywevegotleftinourlivesiswhatwedontsayandwhatwedontdo,andthatsreallywhattellsthemostaboutpeople,isnotjustthethoughtsbutwhatdotheynotwantpeopletoknow.Inthisway,Jaredsettlesforprivacyinhisheadbecauseofhisinabilitytocontrolhisphysicalenvironment.Whenadultsthinkaboutprivacyorprivateplaces,theyoftenimaginethehomeasaprivatespace.Yet,manyoftheteensthatweinterviewedrejectedthis,highlightingthewaysinwhichhomeisnotprivateforthem.Forexample,whendanahasked14yearoldLeighfromIowaifhomewasprivate,shesaidNottome,buttoourfamily.Mymomcomesandlooksinmyroomandstuff.Heather,a16yearoldfromIowa,wentfurther.Becausetherearealotofthingsthatmymomdoesthatmakemefeellikeitsnotprivate.Icanbetakingashowerandshellcomein,gotothebathroom,andleave.Shehasnorespectformypersonalprivacy.IcanbesittingonthecomputertalkingtoafriendandshellbereadingovermyshoulderandIdontwantherto.Thatsnotreallyprivatetome.PrivateiskindoflikeaplacewhereIcankindofgoandjustbebymyselfandnothavetoworryaboutanyonedoinganything.WhendanahaskedHeatherforanexampleofaprivateplace,shelistedPaneraBread,arestaurantwheresheworksparttime.Mycoworkers,theyllcomeandtalktomebutIstillhavemyalonetime.Imsittingtherebymyself.IfImlisteningtomymusicanddoingmyhomeworkitsjustkindofalonetime.Imrelaxed.Theabsenceof7Anthropologistshavefoundwildvariationsinhowdifferentcommunitiesunderstandandprioritizeprivacy.JohnL.LockesEavesdropping:AnIntimateHistory(2010)weavestogethermanyofthesedifferentaccounts.8Teensarenotaloneinhavingdiverseviewsaboutwhatconstitutesprivacy.DiverseadultperspectivesarewelldocumentedinChristenaNippertEngsIslandsofPrivacy(2010).9Allen1999;Nissenbaum2010,94;Strandburg2011

  • WorkinProgressPaperfordiscussionatthePrivacyLawScholarsConferenceonJune2,2011inBerkeley,CA.Feedbackwanted!

    DraftDate:May9,2011 4

    parentsisregularlyakeyfactorforteenstofeelasthoughtheyhaveprivacy.Forexample,17yearoldSamfromIowatolddanahthathisprivateplacesareInmycaroratafriendshouseorsomething.Imdefinitelynotworriedaboutitbecausetheyarenotmyparents,so,Imalittlemoreopen.Whenteensexplainwheretheycanseekprivacy,theyfocusmoreonwhoispresentthantheparticularconfigurationsofthespace.Accessisakeypartofmanydefinitionsofprivacy;forexample,RuthGavisonwritesthatprivacyisalimitationofothersaccesstoanindividualandthatalossofprivacyoccursasothersobtaininformationaboutanindividual,payattentiontohim,orgainaccesstohim.10Boundariestoaccessalsoplayanimportantroleinhowsometeensunderstandprivacy.Forexample,Jeromy(14,DC)saysthatprivacyiswhenyou'retryingtokeepsomethingfromtheworldoryourselforpeoplethatyoudon'tlike.Inlistingoffdifferentexamplesofwhoshouldnthaveaccesstocertaininformation,Jeromyleavesroomtoshare.Likewise,Meixing(17,NC)suggeststhatprivacyinvolvescertainthoughtsorideasthatyoukeeponlytoyourself,ormaybesomeoneelsethatisclosetoyou,butitsrelativelyconfidential.Bothoftheirapproachestoprivacyhighlighthowprivacyisntsimplybinaryaccessornoaccessbut,rather,controloverhowinformationflowsor,inotherwords,controloverthesocialsituation.Maintainingcontrolisntn