Decolonizing Privacy Studies
This paper calls for an epistemic disobedience in privacy studies by decolonizing the approach to privacy. As technology companies expand their reach worldwide, the notion of privacy continues to be viewed through an ethnocentric lens. It disproportionately draws from empirical evidence on Western-based, white, and middle-class demographics. We need to break away from the market-driven neoliberal ideology and the Development paradigm long dictating media studies if we are to foster more inclusive privacy policies.
This paper offers a set of propositions to de-naturalize and estrange data from demographic generalizations and cultural assumptions, namely,
(1) predicting privacy harms through the history of social practice,
(2) recalibrating the core-periphery as evolving and moving targets, and
(3) de-exoticizing “natives” by situating privacy in ludic digital cultures.
In essence, decolonizing privacy studies is as much an act of reimagining people and place as it is of dismantling essentialisms that are regurgitated through scholarship.