An Economic Argument for Electronic Privacy
Journal of Law and Policy for the Information Society, Vol. 7, 2011
39 Pages Posted: 9 May 2011
Date Written: May 9, 2010
This Article proposes an economic framework with which to analyze the U.S.’s electronic privacy laws in the context of international privacy standards. A key assumption is that electronic privacy generally exists in tension with the speed and convenience of e-commerce: if privacy protections are too strong, e-commerce will suffer. At the same time, however, this Article shows that consumers expect a certain basic level of privacy when they conduct electronic transactions. A government that fails to provide this certain level of privacy effectively weakens the e-commerce industry. This Article concludes the United States has failed to guarantee sufficient privacy protections and that, by learning from the E.U. and Canada, the U.S. can increase both personal privacy and the effectiveness of e-commerce by enacting comprehensive electronic privacy laws.
Keywords: privacy, electronic privacy, privacy laws, law and economics
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