IEEE Technology and Society Magazine - March 2022 - 58

Feature
common pool. However, if data collection, use, and
reuse disproportionately benefits specific agents
within the network (e.g., private organizations), it
could be considered a violation of a privacy norm.
For instance, Kitiyadisai [53] criticized the adoption
of a similar technology in Thailand from the perspective
of the Buddhist tradition.
Disagreements over the definition of privacy have
also led to suggestions that the term should be discarded
as a criterion [54]. This account assumes that
privacy is a folk concept (e.g., analogous to " intuition "
or " consciousness " ) that, despite having a family
resemblance structure, operationalizing facets
of privacy is neither practical nor desirable. Rather
than privacy, Hartzog and Stutzman [54] suggest
that we adopt the concept of obscurity. They define
obscurity as " a state of unknowing... An individual
is obscure to an observer if the observer does not
possess or comprehend critical information needed
to make sense of the individual " (p. 5). Without
relevant information (e.g., context), an observers'
sensemaking abilities are limited. Using a distance
metaphor, they argue that the extent to which the
available
information prohibits identification of
a person, creates a zone of obscurity. For Hartzog
and Stutzman [54], this reformulation of traditional
privacy norms conforms to people's expectations
rather than previous formal attempts at defining privacy.
Moreover, such a norm can be operationalized
in a more straightforward manner relative to subjective
perceptions of privacy.
Security and conformity
Much like privacy, security has been variously
defined. Following Moor's [42] formulation, security
can be understood as an enabler of privacy in that it
protects individuals from unwanted intrusion [15].
However, this is not the only or dominant understanding
of security [55], [56].
Like privacy, security also represents a multifaceted
construct that is contextually bound in both
physical and digital domains. Van Kempen [55]
considered four different kinds of security: 1) international
security through human rights protection;
2) security of the individual against the state; 3) security
as a limiter of human rights; and 4) obligations of
a state to protect individuals from other individuals.
Although his analysis focused on " states, " van Kempen's
conception of security can be equally extended
to other groups, for example, the workplace. In a
58
similar manner to Post's analysis, van Kempen notes
that facets of security can conflict. For instance,
an organization should ensure the security of its
employees from surveillance (e.g., spyware), however,
to protect employees from the actions of malicious
actors (e.g., credential theft), they might need
to engage in surveillance to achieve this goal. Consequently,
like privacy, security is relative to those that
are the subject and object of surveillance.
Security can also be understood in terms
of interpersonal trust and adherence to social
norms, that is, social stability. Henrich et al. [57]
have conducted extensive cross-cultural research
examining how norms affect cooperation and
punishment. For instance, they found that individuals
that lived in groups that were strongly interdependent
(as opposed to independent) were more
likely to penalize people when they violated norms
of equitable sharing even when they incurred a
cost for doing so. One means to understand this
is in terms of the need to act conjointly to ensure
security for the group. For instance, Talhelm et al.
[58] examined social organization and its effect
on cognition across multiple Chinese provinces,
finding that divorce rates were lower in rice-growing
provinces relative to wheat-growing provinces.
They attributed this difference to the requirements
of growing these crops, that is, high and low interdependence,
respectively.
In general, norms that foster interpersonal accord
(i.e., the Confucian concept of harmony, 和) can support
social stability assisting in the survival of groups
that adopt them. Pelto [59] has argued that groups
that place a high value on conformity are more likely
to survive in physical environments defined by insecurity:
when fewer resources are available, more
social regulation is required to ensure their effective
distribution. He referred to this conformity dimension
as cultural tightness wherein " loose cultures "
allowed greater deviation of an individual from
group norms, while " tight cultures " were disinclined
to tolerate deviance. According to this theory, societies
can be located along this tight-loose continuum,
resulting in differential adoption of other norms,
conventions, and technologies. For instance, using
archival data collected by Feldstein [60], Schoenherr
[22] demonstrated that tight cultures were more
inclined to adopt a variety of surveillance technologies
than loose cultures. Similarly, Schoenherr [22]
also demonstrated that states with the United States
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