Legibility, privacy and creativity: linked data in a surveillance society

Christopher Brewster, Dougald Hine

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

This paper looks at the issue of privacy and anonymity through the prism of Scott's concept of legibility i.e. the desire of the state to obtain an ever more accurate mapping of its domain and the actors in its domain. We argue that privacy was absent in village life in the past, and it has arisen as a temporary phenomenon arising from the lack of appropriate technology to make all life in the city legible. Cities have been the loci of creativity for the major part of human civilisation. There is something specific about the illegibility of cities which facilitates creativity and innovation. By providing the technology to catalogue and classify all objects and ideas around us, this leads to a consideration of semantic web technologies, Linked Data and the Internet of Things as unwittingly furthering this ever greater legibility. There is a danger that the over description of a domain will lead to a loss in creativity and innovation. We conclude by arguing that our prime concern must be to preserve illegibility because the survival of some form, any form, of civilisation depends upon it.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrivOn 2013 : society, privacy and the semantic web - policy and technology
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings of the workshop on society, privacy and the semantic web - policy and technology (PrivOn2013) co-located with the 12th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2013)
EditorsStefan Decker, Jim Hendler, Sabrina Kirrane
PublisherCEUR-WS.org
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Event12th International Semantic Web Conference - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 21 Oct 201322 Oct 2013

Publication series

NameCEUR workshop proceedings
PublisherCEUR
Number1121
ISSN (Electronic)1613-0073

Workshop

Workshop12th International Semantic Web Conference
Abbreviated titleISWC 2013
CountryAustralia
CitySydney
Period21/10/1322/10/13
OtherWorkshop on society, privacy and the semantic web - policy and technology (PrivOn2013) and 3rd workshop on Detection, Representation and Exploitation of Events in the semantic web (DeRiVE 2013)

Bibliographical note

Brewster, C & Hine, D 2014, 'Legibility, privacy and creativity: linked data in a surveillance society'. Proc. of the workshop on society, privacy and the semantic web - policy and technology (PrivOn2013) co-located with the 12th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2013), Sydney, Australia, 22 October, ceur-ws.org/Vol-1121/privon2013_paper6.pdf

Keywords

  • creativity
  • innovation
  • legibility
  • linked data
  • privacy
  • semantic web

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  • Cite this

    Brewster, C., & Hine, D. (2014). Legibility, privacy and creativity: linked data in a surveillance society. In S. Decker, J. Hendler, & S. Kirrane (Eds.), PrivOn 2013 : society, privacy and the semantic web - policy and technology: proceedings of the workshop on society, privacy and the semantic web - policy and technology (PrivOn2013) co-located with the 12th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2013) (CEUR workshop proceedings; No. 1121). CEUR-WS.org. http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-1121/privon2013_paper6.pdf