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Wednesday, 20 March 2024

Digital Trust and Security Seminar Series: Kieron O'Hara

Join Digital Futures to uncover Kieron O'Hara's ground-breaking book "The Seven Veils of Privacy". O'Hara will unravel the contested concept of privacy, offering a nuanced framework to navigate divergent perspectives.

Event Time
20 Mar 12:30 - 20 Mar 14:30
Event Location
The University of Manchester
Event Type

Join us to unravel the contested nature of privacy as Kieron O'Hara offers a nuanced framework to navigate divergent perspectives.

This event invites participants from all disciplines and backgrounds to come together, fostering interdisciplinary connections and discussions.


Privacy is one of the most contested concepts of our time. In his recent book, The Seven Veils of Privacy, Kieron O’Hara sets out a rigorous and comprehensive framework for understanding debates about privacy and our rights to it.

Much of the conflict around privacy comes from a failure to recognise divergent perspectives. Some people argue about human rights, some about social conventions, others about individual preferences and still others about information and data processing. As a result, 'privacy' has become the focus of competing definitions, leading some to denounce the 'disarray' in the field.

But disagreements about the role and value of privacy obscure a large amount of agreement on the topic. Privacy is not a technical term of law, cybersecurity or sociology, but a word in common use that adequately expresses a few simple and related ideas. Once we learn to distinguish the different discourses involving the term, the apparent disarray dissolves, and the parochial nature of our disagreements revealed.


Kieron O’Hara is a computer scientist and philosopher, interested in the social and political context of technology, particularly the World Wide Web. During an academic career of 30 years, he specialised in studies of trust, privacy and open data. He maintains a passion for communicating complex research issues to the public, and has published over a dozen books and hundreds of peer-reviewed articles on topics ranging from literature to digital society to political philosophy.

Connect with the Centre for Digital Trust and Society

The Centre for Digital Trust and Society organises the DTS Guest Seminar Series and is a focal point for research across the University of Manchester that explores aspects of trust and security in our digital world.

The Centre is part of Digital Futures, a highly interdisciplinary network which operates across the whole range of the University of Manchester's digital research.

About Digital Futures

Digital Futures is a highly interdisciplinary network that operates across the whole range of the University’s digital research. We aim to present a coherent overview of The University of Manchester's digital research activity to external stakeholders and bring together research communities to explore new research areas and address strategic opportunities.

Photography will take place at this event. If you do not wish to be photographed, please speak to an event organiser upon event registration.