As a graduate student in Philosophy at the University of Michigan, Sophia's research focuses on information and data ethics and the social and political effects of information technologies. Sophia is interested in how these technologies change our institutions and ways of life, especially where these changes expose truths about our values and what we take to be our political rights.

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Abstract: In this talk, I lay the groundwork for proposing a positive account of privacy as a concept with a particular functional role in social and political life. Namely, privacy specifies the norms (social mores, rules, and laws) we judge as necessary for the protection of informational justice. Though there is some general agreement as to the content of these norms, they cannot be fully specified as an account of privacy without being committed to a substantive view about our fundamental political values and the structure of a just society. I will argue that the philosophical literature on privacy and the disagreements within the debate can be explained by this picture. That is, the expectation that the concept of privacy should be unified by the fact that the right to privacy protects a particular interest or set of interests leads to disagreements that are not about privacy itself, but rather about the content of our basic political values. Accounts that aim at providing a content-based theory of privacy that fits with the colloquial use of the term will find themselves frustrated, as colloquial understandings of our fundamental political values are diverse and conflicting. As a result, any content-based and theoretically unified account of privacy rights will be forced to ‘bite the bullet,’ on a number of colloquially unintuitive upshots. I will suggest that understanding privacy as a functional concept aimed at ensuring informational justice allows us to make progress where content-based approaches leave us at a standstill.