Consumer Information Privacy and the Problem(s) of Third-Party Disclosures

41 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2013 Last revised: 8 Jun 2015

Clark D. Asay

Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School

Date Written: March 12, 2013

Abstract

U.S. consumers have little actual control over how companies collect, use, and disclose their personal information. This Article identifies two specific instances of this lack of control under U.S. law related to third-party disclosures, what I call the Incognito and Onward Transfer Problems. It then identifies the types of privacy harms that result and examines the advantages and possible drawbacks of a model law aimed at addressing these specific problems. The model law is based on a system of consumer notice and choice, the predominant method used in the U.S. to provide consumers with control over their information. Up until this point, however, this method of providing control has largely failed, and this Article seeks to address some of its failures. This Article argues that while notice and choice may be useful in addressing some information privacy problems (such as the two identified in this Article), it is not appropriate for all information privacy problems. No one-size-fits-all approach is adequate. Instead, each information privacy problem must be isolated and treated in its proper context.

Keywords: Information privacy, consumers

Suggested Citation

Asay, Clark D., Consumer Information Privacy and the Problem(s) of Third-Party Disclosures (March 12, 2013). 11 Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property 321 (2013); Penn State Law Research Paper No. 19-2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2232265

Clark D. Asay (Contact Author)

Brigham Young University - J. Reuben Clark Law School ( email )

430 JRCB
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602
United States

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