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Mastering the 3 Privacy Dimensions

By Fabio Chesini | November 29, 2020 | 0 Comments

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We have been overestimating our believe that humans evolve at faster speed because we are rational hence we can determine behavioral rights such as privacy. The fact is,  no matter how fast we think we can evolve rationally speaking there are basic instinct behaviors we cannot change at our will. Inexorably our instinct for survival will always prevail.

Fulfilling our most basic needs such as procreation requires to lose privacy at the expense of reproduction. Belonging is yet an other basic need for survival: being part of a family, herd,  tribe, society or global digital society.

The more interconnected we are, the less privacy we have. This is simply because we are social animal and such behavior it is hard coded in our DNA as part of our instinct for survival.

To further understand privacy we need to analyze our behaviors from 3 different and interconnected dimensions: a physical(tangible) and psychological(emotional)  in the context of our “Digital Me” as shown in the picture below:

The 3 privacy dimensions
Digital privacy paradigm

Physical Privacy in exchange of “Belonging”: This is about simple human behavior as per Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. Such as losing our privacy  for reproduction. Or being part of a herd for securing food outweighing the risk of preserving our psychical privacy.

Psycho Privacy in exchange of “Digital Belonging”: This is what the Digerati has been doing by taking advantage of the internet. Exploiting the illusion that we can decouple our “physical persona” from our “psychological persona” by behaving in a digital ecosystem through multiple “digital personas”. Do you remember second life? That was the pick of the hype of that illusion imho.   This is about the “divergent digital dissonance” we further explained in a previous post .  In terms of business this is about free services in exchange of becoming  the product.

Physical Privacy in exchange of ” Digital Belonging”: This is about tightly coupling our “physical persona” with our  “digital persona”. Governments and traditional organization are focusing their digitization efforts in this dimension.

Finally the graphic in the middle represents an infinite continuous loop of privacy trade offs representing  our identity. We might have multiple “digital me” versions of our self enabled by multiple digital platforms. However all of our digital personas are tightly connected to our psycho-physical constrains (a physical living body).


We can use this graphic to put in perspective  how “privacy” is evolving in a global digital society. First to  understand our self, second  to conduct digital businesses and finally to regulate a hyper connected global digital society.



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