Privacy in Public: A Democratic Defense

Stahl, T., 27-Mar-2020, In : Moral Philosophy and Politics. 7, 1, p. 73-96 24 p.

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Traditional arguments for privacy in public suggest that intentionally
public activities, such as political speech, do not deserve privacy protection. In
this article, I develop a new argument for the view that surveillance of inten-
tionally public activities should be limited to protect the specific good that this
context provides, namely democratic legitimacy. Combining insights from Helen
Nissenbaum’s contextualism and Jürgen Habermas’s theory of the public sphere,
I argue that strategic surveillance of the public sphere can undermine the
capacity of citizens to freely deliberate in public and therefore conflicts with
democratic self-determination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-96
Number of pages24
JournalMoral Philosophy and Politics
Issue number1
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 27-Mar-2020


  • privacy, public sphere, privacy in public

ID: 121374203