Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1003001
 
 

Citations (3)



 
 

Footnotes (62)



 


 



Privacy versus Antidiscrimination


Lior Strahilevitz


University of Chicago Law School


University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 75, 2007
U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 349
U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 174

Abstract:     
This essay argues that there is often an essential conflict between information privacy protections and antidiscrimination principles. Where information privacy law or practical obscurity deprives an employer of pertinent information about a job applicant, the employer often will rely more heavily on distasteful statistical discrimination strategies. For example, the existing empirical evidence suggests that criminal background checks may benefit African American male job applicants as a whole, by permitting employers to sort among ex-cons and those lacking criminal records. In the absence of accurate criminal history information, employers concerned about keeping ex-offenders out of their workplace appear to hire too few African American males - penalizing African American males without criminal records and hiring ex-cons who are members of groups with low offending rates. The essay therefore argues that in the employment context, the government should use information policy as a supplement to traditional antidiscrimination law. More precisely, the government can publish previously private information about individuals so as to discourage decisionmakers' reliance on problematic proxies. An important implication of this insight is that there may be strong antidiscrimination rationales for Megan's Laws, more recent efforts by a handful of jurisdictions to make general criminal history information freely available on the Internet, and government subsidies for programs that make employee's prior work evaluations easily available to prospective employers. The essay further explains why in those settings where the reintegration of ex-cons into the workplace creates societal benefits, information privacy protections for criminal history status will rarely, if ever, be the most appropriate tool for achieving those benefits. The essay concludes by identifying situations in which publishing previously private information about individuals would be a poor strategy for decreasing the prevalence of discrimination.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 26

Keywords: statistical discrimination, employment, discrimination, housing, privacy, criminal history, Megan's Law, antidiscrimination, rehabilitation, race, asymmetric information, employment evaluations, feedback

Accepted Paper Series





Download This Paper

Date posted: July 26, 2007  

Suggested Citation

Strahilevitz, Lior, Privacy versus Antidiscrimination. University of Chicago Law Review, Vol. 75, 2007; U of Chicago Law & Economics, Olin Working Paper No. 349; U of Chicago, Public Law Working Paper No. 174. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1003001

Contact Information

Lior Strahilevitz (Contact Author)
University of Chicago Law School ( email )
1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-834-8665 (Phone)
773-702-0730 (Fax)
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 2,046
Downloads: 440
Download Rank: 37,329
Citations:  3
Footnotes:  62

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo5 in 0.360 seconds