Privacy Law in the United States, the EU and Canada: The Allure of the Middle Ground

40 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2006

See all articles by Avner Levin

Avner Levin

Ryerson University, Ted Rogers School of Management

Mary Jo Nicholson

Ryerson University - School of Business Management

Abstract

Privacy and personal information are regulated differently in the European Union (EU), the United Sates (US) and Canada. The EU and Canada centrally supervise the private sector's use of personal data, whereas the US regulation of the private sector is minimal. These differences emanate from distinct conceptual bases for privacy in each jurisdiction. In the US, privacy protection is essentially liberty protection, i.e. protection from government. For Europeans, privacy protects dignity or their public image. In Canada, privacy protection is focused on individual autonomy through personal control of information. We propose the Canadian model as a conceptual middle ground between the EU and the US, as a basis for future American privacy protection.

JEL Classification: K19, K23

Suggested Citation

Levin, Avner and Nicholson, Mary Jo, Privacy Law in the United States, the EU and Canada: The Allure of the Middle Ground. University of Ottawa Law & Technology Journal, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp. 357-395, 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=894079

Avner Levin (Contact Author)

Ryerson University, Ted Rogers School of Management ( email )

350 Victoria Street
Toronto, Ontario M5B 2K3
Canada

Mary Jo Nicholson

Ryerson University - School of Business Management ( email )

Canada

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