The Irony of Privacy Class Action Litigation
12 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2012 Last revised: 15 Jan 2013
Date Written: December 2, 2012
In the past few years, publicized privacy violations have regularly spawned class action lawsuits in the United States, even when the company made a good faith mistake and no victim suffered any quantifiable harm. Privacy advocates often cheer these lawsuits because they generally favor vigorous enforcement of privacy violations, but this essay encourages privacy advocates to reconsider their support for privacy class action litigation. By its nature, class action litigation uses tactics that privacy advocates disavow. Thus, using class action litigation to remediate privacy violations proves to be unintentionally ironic.
Keywords: privacy, class action lawsuits, security, litigation, opt-in, opt-out, notice & choice
JEL Classification: k41, k13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation