Chapter 2: Professor Mette Birkedal Bruun


“There is no doubt that the boundaries of privacy are a current and important topic.  Not only in the countries that we consider surveillance states but all over the world, data is being collected on us, even though we are good and law-abiding citizens. So, what is private when you are a human being in society? Even though there are parallels to our time today, Mette Birkedal Bruun’s privacy studies had a starting point much further back in time.” 

»The project is about understanding what privacy is in a society. We live in our current history and go on that, as we are good at that, but there are some structures to be found once you take a step back and reexamine history. The problems might seem current, but they have existed for a very long time: so, how do we delimit ourselves from our ambient society? What sort of insight should different rulers have on individuals? At the moment, we think it is the first time that the world has these problems, but I also think that it is important to see how this was at play earlier in history. Which elements were important, which solutions did they try, and did it work? Of course, you can’t draw a complete parallel to the past, but we will get wiser, once we look at things historically.« 

“PRIVACY’S research program has put history at its core, but at the same time, the center’s historians are in close dialog with digital security experts and economic and social researchers. Mette Birkedal Bruun is basically on a crusade, so history won’t be for fun and games, but a research resource for modern society.” 

You can read the whole portrait of Professor Mette Birkedal Bruun by downloading the chapter below. 

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