Seven types of Privacy


A widely accepted definition of privacy has been, and remains, elusive within academic and legal frameworks. Nevertheless, when discussing new technologies and their impacts on human rights, “privacy” is almost always mentioned. In this article, Trilateral Research examines the ways in which different case study technologies impact privacy and uses this information to identify seven different types of privacy: Privacy of the person, Privacy of behaviour and action, Privacy of communication, Privacy of data and image, Privacy of thought and feeling, Privacy of location and space and Privacy of association. These categories are useful in both identifying and imagining privacy harms as well as identifying privacy-by-design solutions to mitigate these harms. The findings provide a strong framework for privacy and data protection impact assessments and privacy-by-design initiatives to support responsible innovation.


Rachel Finn, David Wright, Michael Friedewald

Date Published

October 31, 2013

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