rp:International Space
11:15 - 12:15
Privacy Illustrated – Berlin Edition


Oftentimes, privacy is seen as an abstract concept with little to no relevance to day-to-day life. Especially with regard to Non-European countries, it is argued that people do not care about privacy. We went to rpAccra and did a drawing session, asking: What does privacy mean to you? In Berlin, we would like to do the same, comparing the pictures and initiating a conversation around different cultural conceptions of privacy. Pop in, illustrate and share your image of what privacy means to you!


Privacy is a fundamental human right recognized in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and in many other international and regional treaties. The right to privacy underpins human dignity, autonomy and is a foundation essential for many other human rights such as freedom of expression and freedom of association. However, it is often seen as an abstract concept and gains relevance only when put into context. In these contexts, informational asymmetries and the resulting power imbalances play an important role and include governments as well as private companies. This is especially true for African countries.

Building on Carnegie Mellon University’s “Privacy Illustrated” project, we went to re:publica Accra and did a drawing session there. It was our aim to better understand the contexts in which privacy matters in Ghana and the mental conceptions people entertain of this rather abstract concept. In Berlin, we would like to continue this conversation and explore the cultural differences of privacy conceptions: Based both on the images created in Accra and the pictures you will draw at re:publica Berlin. Drawing your idea of privacy will help us to create more engaging narratives and better tools to make privacy more relevant to more people. The workshop will feature short inputs from activists, development professionals and technology experts on responsible data, privacy conceptions and practical advice what you can do to increase your level of privacy and security. Because privacy is power.