WPCC Call for Papers: Redesigning or redefining privacy?

19 June 2016
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The revelations of Edward Snowden in 2013 came as a wake-up call for a public that increasingly depends on the internet for numerous everyday activities. A shift of boundaries between the state and the public came to the fore placing state scrutiny at the centre of public debates, at least for a while. Recent studies suggest that individuals who consider themselves as ordinary citizens disregard surveillance on the basis of the argument, “nothing to hide, nothing to fear”. Others like Stoycheff, 2016 suggest that surveillance has contributed to a chilling effect on minority views, which are forcefully silenced.

The FBI-Apple dispute about a locked and encrypted iPhone shifted the attention to privacy by design, which introduced an interesting paradox: companies that harvest personal data of individuals for their own commercial interest are to be found protecting the same data from government agencies and promising privacy via encryption. In a neoliberal context, though, many companies are driven by the maximization of profit rather than the common good. Thus, such actions can be seen as shrewd customer relationship management to boost their loyalty. Blaming the “bad” state that spies on people, the “good” companies come to “protect ” human rights such as privacy.

This raises serious questions that need to be addressed: do new technological developments empower the user and ensure privacy and freedom of expression as the discourse suggests? Should citizens place their rights in the hands of big corporations? Do many individuals now show more trust in corporations than in democratically elected governments? If so what are the implications for democracy as such? Should the response to risks of computer-based surveillance be yet more advanced technology? This special issue calls for papers that contribute to the ongoing debate about surveillance, focusing on the implications for democracy following Snowden’s revelations and the shift to privacy by design.

Themes may also include but are not limited to the following:

  • The role of corporations and the state in the digital era
  • The rethinking of privacy, democracy, and freedom of expression
  • Citizens’ experience of the surveillance state
  • Privacy by design as a response to surveillance
  • New forms of resistance to surveillance
  • Trust in corporations and the state
  • National and international privacy protection policies and data protection laws

Submission of Abstracts: Prospective authors of research articles of between 6,000-8,000 words including notes and references are encouraged to send a 250-word abstract to WESTMINSTER PAPERS IN COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE no later than 1st October 2016.

Deadline for abstracts: 1st October 2016 Please send abstracts to WPCC2015@gmail.com

The editorial team of WPCC will inform authors of abstracts by the 15th October 2016 if the abstract meets the brief of the issue and if they would like to request submission of a full text with a view to inclusion, subject to peer-review and editing on delivery.

Deadline for full-text submission: 1st February 2017.

Authors of those abstracts encouraged by WPCC or new submissions should register at the journal website by 1 February 2017 attaching the article. Authors will be notified as soon as possible about acceptance, revisions or rejection and the outcome of the review process with a view to publishing accepted articles subject to any amendments requested. Please route communications about articles submitted via the journal’s online system.

Please submit articles via: http://www.westminsterpapers.org/about/submissions

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