Privacy Paradox(Es): In Search of a Transatlantic Data Protection Standard

27 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2015 Last revised: 15 Oct 2015

Date Written: November 6, 2013


This paper is dedicated to the transatlantic debate over global privacy and personal data protection standards.

The author, guided by a desire to develop a plane for achieving system-based convergence, points out the paradoxes arising in this area.

The first of these paradoxes is that, despite having common (Euro-Atlantic) axiological foundations and, in principle, identical value systems, the normative solutions to protect these values applied in different countries may be quite different.

The second is that, if the European Union and USA are convinced and can demonstrate the superiority of their legal solutions over others in the area in question, then each of these antagonistic systems in practice loses its purity and absorbs the other’s features.

In the author's view, the source of these system-based differences is a different understanding of unit – in Europe it is seen as a vulnerable citizen requiring the state to care for and nurture it, while in USA – as aware of its consumer rights, actively using existing private law instruments.

To conclude, the author deems that, in the current legal regime in relation to USA, applying the test used in the EU to examine the adequacy of personal data protection in a third state will not bring a positive decision.

Keywords: personal data protection, privacy, data protection, privacy law, law

JEL Classification: K00, K10, K33, K23, K29

Suggested Citation

Marcinkowski, Bartosz, Privacy Paradox(Es): In Search of a Transatlantic Data Protection Standard (November 6, 2013). Ohio State Law Journal, Vol. 74, No. 6, 2013. Available at SSRN: or

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