Cite as: Catherine Toal, Introduction to the conference Can We Have Some Privacy?, ICI Berlin, 7–8 May 2015, video recording, mp4, 07:08 <>
7 – 8 May 2015


By Catherine Toal

Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:07:08
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin

Part of the Conference

Can We Have Some Privacy?

Privacy, as its English usage suggests, is a place and a possession as much as an idea or abstract right – a physical realm supposedly separate from public view. In a world in which technology permeates the personal, the everyday, the intimate, what meaning does this value have? Where privacy is voluntarily surrendered, what is it worth to individuals? And where the internet makes possible mass surveillance, what protections are there for the space, and the experience, of privacy? This conference examines not only the legal arrangements affecting privacy – and the time-lag between law and technological advance – but privacy as a philosophical concept and a cultural tenet. What divisions of activity and status created the idea of ‘privacy’ in the first instance? Is it a disappearing value, or is its erosion a source of crisis? Does the sheer extensiveness of the surveillance enabled by technologies of communication cancel the significance of such monitoring, or generate new forms of persecution?


ICI Berlin
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Roger Berkowitz
Alexander García Düttmann
Christian Heller
Scott Horton
Tom Keenan
Anna Kim
Hubertus Knabe
Anatoli Mikhailov
Ben Wizner
A cooperation between Bard College Berlin - A Liberal Arts University, the Center for Civic Engagement, the ICI Berlin, and the Hannah Arendt Center at Bard College in New York, with support from the Zeit-Stiftung