Centre for Internet & Society

Details of a session proposed by Pawan Singh and Pranjal Jain for the Internet Researchers' Conference 2019 - #List.


Internet Researchers' Conference 2019 - #List - Call for Sessions

Session Plan

This session offers a provocation to advance the conversation on privacy in India. Privacy is at once a legal right, a technological/design feature and an everyday practice of managing our social and personal lives. What do we mean when we invoke privacy in our everyday conversations? Privacy conjoins opposing impulses to engage in online public sociality and expressing a desire for limits on data sharing. We trade privacy for convenience. When we skip lengthy terms and conditions of apps, websites and other online agreements we enter into an agreement without much concern for what we are agreeing to when we tick the box at the bottom of the contract. Privacy is a right we cannot not want. As much as privacy remains a subject of, and subject to impassioned speech, it becomes a cognitive burden when we are called upon to read the privacy policies before signing up for an online service.

In this session, we invite participants to tell stories on privacy based on their life experiences. The session aims to employ the concept of a list liberally to understand how privacy continues to be on a to-do list of sorts for lawmakers, technologists and users who are constantly being informed to manage their online account settings, to constantly make certain things private and to care about privacy. Even as privacy has finally joined the list of fundamental rights in India, its meaning continues to be contested. What may be the politics of privacy at play in the circulation of the #MeToo list? Privacy itself may be spoken of as a list of values and affordances: as dignity and bodily integrity of rights subjects, as confidentiality of certain information, the integrity of data flows, self-determination and individual autonomy. The list of all things privacy will evolve with new, privacy-by-design technologies in a rapidly evolving information technology global landscape.

The objective of the session is to bring the examples of potential and actual privacy violations from our daily life in the public domain. We plan to invite three to five participants to engage in a small roundtable-format discussion on privacy and the metaphor of list. Pawan Singh (New Generation Network Fellow, Deakin University) and Pranjal Jain (Masters student of Design, Srishti School of Design) will facilitate the session. We plan to invite participants from our academic and professional networks at the International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore, NUMA co-working space and Digital Identity Research Initiative (DIRI) at the Indian School of Business (ISB).

We plan to contact interested participants through email in December 2018. In order for this roundtable-format session to be productive, we plan to invite participants from diverse backgrounds who can share their perspectives.

The intent of the session is to make a repository of examples from daily life on privacy at the intersection of online space and social life. The repository of examples can be a dynamic list that grows as participants, attendees and others add to the conversation on privacy. It may be maintained as a digital artefact or an online resource.

We are looking for participants who questions what is privacy to them and still in the process of figuring out what is privacy? We also welcome the participants who do not know what is privacy but curious to discover it.

Session Team

Pawan Singh​​:​ New Generation Network Scholar at Deakin University. Works on issues of identity, representation, privacy and the costs of social justice in India and globally. Current project on Aadhaar, data privacy and social media in India.

Pranjal Jain:​​ ​Human-Centered Designer from Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology. Currently in the 2nd year of Master in Design and research assistant at Digital Identity Research Initiative, Indian School of Business. Believe in Ethical Data Practices. Works on designing for online privacy through speculative and critical design.


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