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Abstract

When duties arising from two different rights are incompatible with one another, the rights in question can be said to be in conflict. Public discourse is flooded with claims about the incompatibility between the right to privacy and the right to security. According to popular belief, the more privacy individuals enjoy, the less the state is able to provide security, and vice versa. According to former NSA security consultant Ed Giorgio, ‘[p]rivacy and security are a zero-sum game’ (cited by Wright 2008)—meaning that for every increase in one, there is a decrease in the other. In other words, the state seems to have incompatible duties: on the one hand, to respect its citizens’ right to privacy by refraining from spying on them, and on the other hand, to guarantee its citizens’ right to security, which, so the argument goes, cannot be done without spying on the general population.

In this presentation I focus on the supposed trade-off between privacy and security and argue that, more often than not, a decrease in privacy entails a decrease in security. In the context of terrorist threats and mass surveillance, I argue that the latter may be as risky for the security of citizens as the former.

Forthcoming events

Ethox/WEH Seminar - Regulation of AI in healthcare: what should we expect?

Wednesday, 28 August 2019, 11am to 12.30pm @ Seminar room 0, BDI, Old Road Campus, OX3 7LF

Ethox/WEH Seminar - Genomic secondary findings in inherited heart conditions: a recall by genotype study

Wednesday, 04 September 2019, 11am to 12.30pm @ Seminar room 0, BDI, Old Road Campus, OX3 7LF

Oxford Open Doors

Saturday, 14 September 2019, 12.30pm to 4pm

The Nuffield Department of Population Health will be open to the public as part of this year's Open Doors event. Find out how medical researchers use big data to answer important questions about human health around the world.

Pharmaceutical policies in the long run: reflections on 60th anniversary of the Hinchliffe Report

Monday, 11 November 2019, 9.30am to 5pm @ Merton College, Merton Street Oxford, OX1 4JD

Designing and Running Streamlined Randomized Trials

Monday, 13 January 2020 to Tuesday, 14 January 2020, 9.30am - 5pm