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Journal Articles Comptes Rendus. Physique Year : 2011

The New Ethical Trilemma: Security, Privacy and Transparency


Numerous ethical and societal issues are related to the development of nanotechnology. Among them, the risk for privacy has long been discussed. Some people say that technology is neutral and that it does not really change the nature of problems, which are mainly political, while others state that its contemporary developments considerably amplify them; there are even persons who assert that it will make privacy protection obsolete. This paper discusses those different positions by making reference to the classical Panopticon that is an architecture for surveillance, which characterizes the total absence of privacy. It envisages the possible evolutions of the Panopticon due to the development of nanotechnologies. It shows that the influence of nanotechnology on privacy concerns cannot be dissociated from the influence of computers and biotechnologies, i.e. from what is currently called the NBIC convergence. Lastly, it concludes on the new ethical trade-off that has to be made between three contradictory requirements that are security, transparency and privacy.
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hal-00610525 , version 1 (22-07-2011)



Jean-Gabriel Ganascia. The New Ethical Trilemma: Security, Privacy and Transparency. Comptes Rendus. Physique, 2011, 12 (7), pp.684-692. ⟨10.1016/j.crhy.2011.07.002⟩. ⟨hal-00610525⟩
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