Consent and Privacy
Custers B.H.M., Dechesne F., Pieters W., Schermer B. & Hof S. van der (2018), Consent and Privacy. In: Müller A., Schaber P. (red.) The Routledge Handbook of the Ethics of Consent. London: Routledge. 247-258.
12 Pages Posted: 30 May 2019
Date Written: May 6, 2018
Consent to personal data-processing practices has become quite a mundane activity in the digital world. When downloading apps to our smartphones, we – almost automatically – consent to the privacy policies associated with the particular services they provide. Also, when subscribing to social networking services, consenting to their privacy policies is inescapable. Another particularly visible practice is to ask internet users to accept cookies (i.e., small pieces of data stored on people’s computers to “remember” their actions and preferences). The (consent to) disclosure of personal data and the subsequent use of such data is the domain of privacy and data protection. This chapter explores the discussion on the role of consent in privacy and personal data protection. It is shown how legal, ethical, economic and technological studies point to similar core issues related to the limitations of communication and decision making, inhibiting the effectiveness of consent for privacy protection. In section 22.2 the relation between privacy and consent is examined. In section 22.3 ethical and legal requirements for (informed) consent in relation to privacy and personal data protection are discussed. Special attention is given to the issues concerning children’s consent. Next, the limits of consent in privacy and personal data protection are discussed from a technological perspective (section 22.4) and from the perspectives of legal, social and (behavioral) economics (section 22.5). In section 22.6 potential solutions to the issues regarding privacy and consent are offered and analyzed. In section 22.7 conclusions are provided.
Keywords: consent; privacy
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