Online Privacy and the Invisible Market for Our Data

33 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2016 Last revised: 26 Jun 2017

Date Written: January 18, 2016


Consumers constantly enter into blind bargains online. We trade our personal information for free websites and apps, without knowing exactly what will be done with our data. There is nominally a notice and choice regime in place via lengthy privacy policies. However, virtually no one reads them. In this ill-informed environment, companies can gather and exploit as much data as technologically possible, with very few legal boundaries. The consequences for consumers are often far-removed from their actions, or entirely invisible to them. Americans deserve a rigorous notice and choice regime. Such a regime would allow consumers to make informed decisions and regain some measure of control over their personal information. This article explores the problems with the current marketplace for our digital data, and explains how we can make a robust notice and choice regime work for consumers.

Keywords: Informational Privacy, Online Privacy, Notice and Choice, Data Brokers

Suggested Citation

Lipman, Rebecca, Online Privacy and the Invisible Market for Our Data (January 18, 2016). 120 Penn State Law Review 777 (2016), Available at SSRN:

Rebecca Lipman (Contact Author)

New York City Law Department ( email )

100 Church Street
New York, NY 10007-2601
United States

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