Current dilemmas about privacy in digital environments parallel and exacerbate problems long connected to privacy in city life. Online privacy issues that involve drastic consequences such as public disgrace and suicide raise troubling questions about the role of privacy in a digital age rooted in an urban culture characterized by the need to build public trust while maintaining privacy, a need unique to cities. Since the problem of privacy is not exclusive to digital environments but endemic to an urban culture that both antedates and provides digital environments with a cultural coherence, an analysis of online social interaction as a mimesis of city life offers an explanatory means for understanding how and when digital environments work against individual privacy and public trust. Such a theoretical framework reveals digital environments pose additional threats to privacy and obstacles to establishing trust than cities do, especially when it comes to social rather than professional interaction.
|Keywords:||Digital Environments, Networking, City Life, Trust, Privacy|
Assistant Professor, English, Bellarmine University, Louisville, KY, USA