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Book description

Governing Privacy in Knowledge Commons explores how privacy impacts knowledge production, community formation, and collaborative governance in diverse contexts, ranging from academia and IoT, to social media and mental health. Using nine new case studies and a meta-analysis of previous knowledge commons literature, the book integrates the Governing Knowledge Commons framework with Helen Nissenbaum's Contextual Integrity framework. The multidisciplinary case studies show that personal information is often a key component of the resources created by knowledge commons. Moreover, even when it is not the focus of the commons, personal information governance may require community participation and boundaries. Taken together, the chapters illustrate the importance of exit and voice in constructing and sustaining knowledge commons through appropriate personal information flows. They also shed light on the shortcomings of current notice-and-consent style regulation of social media platforms. This title is also available as Open Access on Cambridge Core.


‘Governing Privacy in Knowledge Commons is a fascinating collection of essays exploring how people negotiate privacy in various contexts within communities. The book deftly interweaves theory and specific examples. The editors have brought together a set of rich and nuanced contributions to understanding the social complexities of privacy.’

Daniel J. Solove - John Marshall Harlan Research Professor of Law, George Washington University Law School

‘This thought-provoking book is a must-read for anyone studying or interested in data cooperatives and data trusts. The marriage of the Governing Knowledge Commons framework with the theory of contextual integrity is a big win for privacy in the age of big data; this book advances the field considerably.’

Sue Glueck - Senior Director of Academic Relations, Microsoft

‘The increasing ability to record and store our actions, opinions, health data, images, etc. lead to important questions how to govern privacy. Governing Privacy in Knowledge Commons views privacy as a problem of collective action. This book provides a fresh perspective, applying the Institutional Analysis and Development framework of Elinor Ostrom, and the Governing Knowledge Commons framework of the editors to a diverse set of knowledge commons case studies.’

Marco Janssen - Arizona State University

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Full book PDF
  • Governing Privacy in Knowledge Commons
    pp i-i
  • Cambridge Studies on Governing Knowledge Commons - Series page
    pp ii-ii
  • Governing Privacy in Knowledge Commons - Title page
    pp iii-iii
  • Copyright page
    pp iv-iv
  • Contents
    pp v-vi
  • Figures
    pp vii-vii
  • Tables
    pp viii-viii
  • Contributors
    pp ix-x
  • Acknowledgments
    pp xi-xii
  • Introduction
    pp 1-4
  • 1 - Privacy and Knowledge Commons
    pp 5-50
  • Part I - Personal Information as a Knowledge Commons Resource
    pp 51-148
  • 3 - Pooling Mental Health Data with Chatbots
    pp 70-97
  • 5 - Public Facebook Groups for Political Activism
    pp 121-148
  • Part II - Privacy as Governance of Participation and Boundaries
    pp 149-200
  • 6 - The Republic of Letters and the Origins of Scientific Knowledge Commons
    pp 151-184
  • Part III - Bringing Information Subjects into Commons Governance
    pp 201-202
  • 8 - Governing the Internet of Everything
    pp 203-219
  • 10 - Designing for the Privacy Commons
    pp 245-267


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