Personhood, privacy, & profit : rhetorical analysis of data brokerage’s impact on digital citizenship & online privacy.


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This thesis investigates the rhetorical and legal frameworks which constitute digital citizenship, with privacy at the ideological crux of social, political, and economic discourse related to data-driven technologies. I enunciate the connection between citizenship and privacy, bridging these ideologies with personal digital data. Surveillance capitalism and exceptionalism are economic and political models which have challenged current legal and social understandings of privacy rights. Racial, gendered, and sexual groups are disproportionately affected by digital abuse. Using the 2022 overturn of Roe v. Wade as critical context, I demonstrate how technology facilitated abuse and controlled monitoring of reproductive health information represent exigent restraints to digital citizenship for these groups. Examining the ethical and economic aspects that data brokers specifically have influenced such as surveillance and data mining and how these themes harm women and other minority groups, this reveals the overall gaps of tech accountability and necessity for digital rights.