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


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.

Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Operations & Information Management
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Advanced Services Group
Additional Information: 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
Event Title: 12th International Semantic Web Conference
Event Type: Other
Event Dates: 2013-10-21 - 2013-10-22
Uncontrolled Keywords: creativity,innovation,legibility,linked data,privacy,semantic web,General Computer Science
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2024 07:14
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2015 12:30
Full Text Link: http://ceur-ws. ... 2013_paper6.pdf
Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Chapter (peer-reviewed)
Published Date: 2014
Authors: Brewster, Christopher (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-6594-9178)
Hine, Dougald



Version: Published Version

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