A relational approach to the moral value of privacy
T h e U n i v e r s i t y o f U t a h G r a d u a t e S c h o o l STATEMENT OF DISSERTATION APPROVAL The dissertation of Charles Gordon Hudgins has been approved by the following supervisory committee members: Cynthia Stark Chair ABSTRACT This dissertation constructs a theoretical approach to understanding the moral value of personal privacy. In its current state, the philosophical literature on the moral value of privacy is fractured in that there are several differing approaches, each
... aches, each emphasizing different aspects of the problem. Some approaches, referred to as "functionalist," consider the value of privacy as being based on the goods that it brings about. Others emphasize respect for the autonomy of the individual in question, referred to as "autonomy-based." The view developed in this dissertation combines the central intuitions behind both of these approaches by basing the moral value of privacy on the notion of relational autonomy. Relational autonomy is a conception of autonomy that emphasizes the interpersonal and social embeddedness of individuals, instead of treating autonomy as a singular ideal of independence from such influences. By understanding the value of privacy as a kind of respect for relational autonomy, the relational approach is technically a kind of autonomy-based approach, but one that manages to incorporate consideration of the socially oriented goods emphasized by functionalist accounts. The examples of social media (such as Facebook) and lifelogging are used to explain this approach to the value of privacy.