Footnotes (129)



The Class Differential in Privacy Law

Michele E. Gilman

University of Baltimore - School of Law


Brooklyn Law Review , Vol. 77, No. 4, Summer 2012

This article analyzes how privacy law fails the poor. Due to advanced technologies, all Americans are facing corporate and governmental surveillance. However, privacy law is focused on middle-class concerns about limiting the disclosure of personal data so that it is not misused. By contrast, along the welfare-to-work continuum, poor people face privacy intrusions at the time that the state or their employers gather data. This data collection tends to be stigmatizing and humiliating, and it thus not only compounds the harmful effects of living in poverty, but also dampens democratic participation by the poor. The poor interact with the government and low-wage employers in ways that are on-going and interpersonal, and as a result, the "right to be left alone" embodied in current privacy law does not protect their interests in dignity and autonomy. This article argues that poor Americans experience privacy differently than persons with greater economic resources and that the law, in its constitutional, statutory and common law dimensions, reinforces this differential. This class differential in privacy law has costs not only for the poor, but for all citizens.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 58

Keywords: privacy, welfare, low-wage work, dignity

JEL Classification: I30, I38, J71

Open PDF in Browser Download This Paper

Date posted: November 30, 2012  

Suggested Citation

Gilman, Michele E., The Class Differential in Privacy Law (2012). Brooklyn Law Review , Vol. 77, No. 4, Summer 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2182773

Contact Information

Michele E. Gilman (Contact Author)
University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )
1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States
Feedback to SSRN

Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 6,701
Downloads: 441
Download Rank: 47,075
Footnotes:  129
People who downloaded this paper also downloaded:
1. What Privacy Is For
By Julie Cohen

© 2016 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollobot1 in 0.188 seconds