Beyond Notice and Choice: Privacy, Norms, and Consent
34 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2013 Last revised: 12 Apr 2013
Date Written: March 25, 2013
Informational privacy is the ability to determine for yourself when and how others may collect and use your information. Adequate informational privacy requires a sufficiently broad ability to give or withhold free and informed consent to proposed uses.
Most likely, they see no need to seek an alternative. We find the critique of Notice and Choice conclusive, but our assessment is far from widely shared — and understandably so. Criticisms of Notice and Choice are scattered over several articles and books. No one has unified them and answered the obvious counterarguments. We do so. Making the critique plain, however, is not enough to ensure that policy makers turn to a viable alternative. The critiques are entirely negative; they do not offer any alternative to Notice and Choice. We offer an alternative: informational norms. When appropriate informational norms govern online data collection and use, they both ensure that visitors give free and informed consent to those practices, and yield an acceptable overall tradeoff between protecting privacy and the benefits of processing information. A fundamental difficulty is the lack of norms. Rapid advances in information processing technology have fueled new business models, and the rapid development has outpaced the slow evolution of norms. Notice and Choice cannot be pressed into service to remedy this lack. It is necessary to develop new norms.
JEL Classification: K10, K19, K30, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation