In this paper, I begin by detailing how social researchers may use informed consent to protect the situational and informational privacy of those they study while gathering data by way of the method of participant observation. Next, I argue that the principle of informed consent should not be regarded as an absolute demand: under specified conditions, it is acceptable to make an exception to the principle. Finally, I demonstrate that the employment of informed consent does not suffice to protect individuals’ privacy: social researchers must take a number of additional measures to prevent privacy invasions from occurring.

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