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  • Beyond nothing to hide - Stuart Levine EJSP author accepted version

    Rights statement: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Stuart, A., and Levine, M. (2017) Beyond ‘nothing to hide’: When identity is key to privacy threat under surveillance. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 47: 694–707. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2270 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ejsp.2270 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.

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Beyond ‘nothing to hide’: When identity is key to privacy threat under surveillance

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/10/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>European Journal of Social Psychology
Issue number6
Volume47
Number of pages14
Pages (from-to)694-707
Publication statusPublished
Early online date6/07/17
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Privacy is psychologically important, vital for democracy, and in the era of ubiquitous and mobile surveillance technology, facing increasingly complex threats and challenges. Yet surveillance is often justified under a trope that one has ‘nothing to hide’. We conducted focus groups (N = 42) on topics of surveillance and privacy and using discursive analysis, identify the ideological assumptions and the positions that people adopt to make sense of their participation in a surveillance society. We find a premise that surveillance is increasingly inescapable, but this was only objected to when people reported feeling misrepresented, or where they had an inability to withhold aspects of their identities. The (in)visibility of the surveillance technology also complicated how surveillance is constructed. Those interested in engaging the public in debates about surveillance may be better served by highlighting the identity consequences of surveillance, rather than constructing surveillance as a generalised privacy threat.

Bibliographic note

This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Stuart, A., and Levine, M. (2017) Beyond ‘nothing to hide’: When identity is key to privacy threat under surveillance. Eur. J. Soc. Psychol., 47: 694–707. doi: 10.1002/ejsp.2270 which has been published in final form at https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/ejsp.2270 This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.