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Mapping Online Privacy

Jacqueline D. Lipton

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 104, No. 2, 2010
Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-24

Privacy scholars have recently outlined difficulties in applying existing concepts of personal privacy to the maturing Internet. With Web 2.0 technologies, more people have more opportunities to post information about themselves and others online, often with scant regard for individual privacy. Shifting notions of 'reasonable expectations of privacy' in the context of blogs, wikis, and online social networks create challenges for privacy regulation. Courts and commentators struggle with Web 2.0 privacy incursions without the benefit of a clear regulatory framework. This article offers a map of privacy that might help delineate at least the outer boundaries of Web 2.0 privacy. The aim is to develop an umbrella under which individual aspects of privacy may be collected and examined, along with their relationships to each other. The key aspects of privacy identified are: (i) actors/relationships; (ii) privacy-threatening conduct; (iii) motivations; (iv) harms/remedies; (v) nature of private information; and, (vi) format of information. The author suggests that by examining these aspects of privacy, and their inter-relationships, we might gain a more comprehensive picture of online privacy. We might also gain a better idea of precisely where Web 2.0 technologies are putting pressure on the boundaries of traditional notions of privacy.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

Keywords: privacy, WWW (world wide web), internet, Web 2.0, technology, social networks, Justice Antonin Scalia, Professor Joel Reidenberg

JEL Classification: K11, K13, K42

Accepted Paper Series

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Date posted: August 6, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Lipton, Jacqueline D., Mapping Online Privacy. Northwestern University Law Review, Vol. 104, No. 2, 2010; Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-24. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1443918

Contact Information

Jacqueline Deborah Lipton (Contact Author)
Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )
11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States
216-368-3303 (Phone)
216-368-2086 (Fax)
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