You are not your data but your data is still you

Regardless of the types of information it encompasses, privacy is about controlling which pools of data are protected, writes tech anthropologist Tricia Wang.

If the operative word for privacy is ‘control’, then personhood is all about agency. Personhood is the agency to determine one’s own life decisions and outcomes. Personhood is tied to the qualities that make us people. It’s about making decisions about everything: our careers, personal lives, homes, and relationships. It’s about having the freedom to determine where we live, who we live with, and how we live. It’s about self-determination. […]

New worlds need new language. There are new things to name. And one of those things to name is what is happening to ourselves and our data proxies. Expanding our language from privacy to personhood enables us to have conversations that enable us to see that our data is us, our data is valuable, and our data is being collected automatically.