Privacy, Neuroscience, and Neuro-Surveillance


RES PUBLICA, pp 1-19

Abstract: The beliefs, feelings, and thoughts that make up our streams of consciousness would seem to be inherently private. Nevertheless, modern neuroscience is offering to open up the sanctity of this domain to outside viewing. A common retort often voiced to this worry is something like, ‘Privacy is difficult to define and has no inherent moral value. What’s so great about privacy?’ In this article I will argue against these sentiments. A definition of privacy is offered along with an account of why privacy is morally valuable. In the remaining sections, several privacy protecting principles are defended that would limit various sorts of neuro-surveillance promised by advancements in neuroscience.