The right to attentional privacy

Anuj Puri*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Privacy debates conventionally tend to focus on information. In this paper, I argue for a novel formulation of right to attentional privacy, which protects individual autonomy from the continuing onslaught of intrusive, immersive, persuasive and addictive technologies. I contend that the harvesting of an individual’s attention through hypernudges and supernormal stimuli deployed in form of behavioral targeting undermines an individual’s autonomy. I construct a Razian justification for interest in attention that needs to be protected against sophisticated technological practices such as A/B Testing and Real Time Bidding carried out by Big Tech. I invoke dual conception of right to attentional privacy as a negative liberty to safeguard against intrusive technologies and as a positive liberty to keep at bay immersive, persuasive and addictive technologies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-221
Number of pages17
JournalRutgers Law Record
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Apr 2021


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