Talk by Pawan Singh, Deakin University on The Promise of Privacy in the Age of Visibility

Wednesday 8th August 3:30 p.m.

About the talk: The privacy debate in India has revolved around Aadhaar and social media technologies. Several claims have been made in public discourse about the value of privacy in India. From being an elite concern to not mattering at all to Indians, privacy has been dismissed by state actors in a bid to validate their own project of a digital India. At the same time, privacy activists have sought to demonstrate the value of privacy for everyone. In this tug-of-war, privacy has been reduced to a simplistic Yes/No dichotomy,unwittingly mirroring the Aadhaar authentication mechanism. This talk aims to make some observations about the place of privacy from a legal, cultural and technological perspective by foregrounding social dynamics around the matter of recognition. In order to meaningfully debate privacy, it proposes that we should think about recognition in ethical terms that enriches privacy in relation to identity, information and social practices. It concludes that privacy, however legislated, remains a matter of context, that, at the end of the day, would always exceed frameworks of regulation.

Speaker Bio: Pawan Singh is a New Generation Network Scholar at Deakin University and the Australia India Institute in Melbourne. He has a PhD in media studies from the University of California, San Diego.

CITAPP at IIIT Bangalore is an interdisciplinary think-tank set-up to focus on the policy challenges and the organizational demands made by technological innovation. Of particular interest to the Centre is how technological advances, along with institutional changes that harness the legitimacy and the powers of bureaucracies and market, address the needs of underserved communities.