A Critical Study of Four Definitions of Privacy From The Viewpoint of Western Ethics

Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor of Institute for Research and Development of Humanities (SAMT), Iran


This article addresses four definitions of privacy. Initially, the literal meaning of privacy is mentioned; It then discusses the meaning of the term “privacy” in Ethics. The first meaning is the right to be alone and free. The second meaning of privacy is informational and is divided into two types: one is the definition based on expectation and another is a definition based on the state of awareness. The third type is the definition that defines privacy based on control. In this paper, these definitions are reviewed one by one and the limitations noted by others are expressed and evaluated. The fourth type is a multi-dimensional or clustered definition. According to this definition, we should define privacy on a descriptive rather than a normative basis and avoid using any normative concept in its definition. According to this kind of definition, we can break the concept of privacy into three independent components. These three elements are secrecy, anonymity, and loneliness. Although this definition is not devoid of deficits, it is the most comprehensive one in this article because it refers to more privacy-related features
Privacy, the right to loneliness, control, anonymity, secrecy, cluster definition.


Main Subjects

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