Privacy as Interpersonal Boundary Regulation in the Context of Social Network Services

Speaker  Airi Lampinen

Affiliation  Helsinki Institute for Information Technology

Host  Alex Taylor

Duration  00:50:41

Date recorded  14 March 2014

Considering privacy as interpersonal boundary regulation highlights the holistic endeavour people undertake to "make the world work". Interpersonal boundary regulation is a core process of social life: It constitutes of the efforts needed for people to achieve contextually desirable degrees of social interaction and to build and sustain their relations with others and with the self. Drawing upon a series of explorative studies, I address challenges of interpersonal boundary regulation in the context of social network services wherein 1) people may share content with multiple groups at once, 2) people may share content on behalf of others, 3) sharing can be achieved via automated mechanisms, and 4) sharing online and offline are connected in multiple ways. I argue that while widespread adoption of social network services disrupts central premises of interpersonal boundary regulation on which people are used to relying, interpersonal boundary regulation is best understood as a co-operative process also in our networked age. In fact, SNSs may even amplify the importance of co-operative boundary regulation and increase awareness of the necessary efforts. Instead of framing privacy solely as an issue of individuals control over information, this talk calls for reconsidering it beyond the individual level and across the many online and offline settings in which people come together.

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