Privacy and Telecommunications

50 Pages Posted: 26 Sep 2006

See all articles by Fred H. Cate

Fred H. Cate

Indiaan University Maurer School of Law; Indiana University


This article explores the differences in privacy protection between the European Union and the United States, and examines the emerging conflict over data protection. Professor Cate analyzes the European data protection Directive, with particular emphasis on the Directive's extraterritorial provisions. He then examines privacy protection under United States laws and the extent to which that protection satisfies the requirements of the Directive. Finally, Professor Cate focuses on privacy issues involved in telecommunications, an area significantly regulated by United States and European laws, and therefore one area in which some commonality among privacy protection might be anticipated. Even in this highly regulated area, Professor Cate concludes, United States privacy protection for telecommunications-related information fails to meet the standard required by the Directive. However, he argues, the most effective protections for privacy are not legal regulations, but rather individual responsibility, limited governmental oversight, and competition among telecommunication service providers.

Keywords: data protection, privacy, telecommunications

Suggested Citation

Cate, Fred H., Privacy and Telecommunications. Wake Forest Law Review, Vol. 33, No. 1, 1998. Available at SSRN:

Fred H. Cate (Contact Author)

Indiaan University Maurer School of Law ( email )

211 S. Indiana Avenue
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(812) 855-1161 (Phone)

Indiana University ( email )

107 S Indiana Ave
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