Internet Cookies: When is Permission Consent?

25 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2006  

Max Stul Oppenheimer

University of Baltimore - School of Law

Abstract

Consent is the Philosophers' Stone of the law: it can transmute an unconstitutional search into a lawful one, a criminal act into a legal one, and a tort into a contract. As technology has evolved, so has this fundamental legal concept. New forms of communication call for new forms of manifesting consent. Examples include shrink-wrap licenses, click-to-accept licenses, faxed signatures, emails and e-signatures. Each of these forms, however, require some affirmative action by the person sought to be bound. An emerging issue is whether permissions granted by a computer program can constitute consent on behalf of the computer's owner, particularly where the permissions are set by default in the distributed form of the program rather than by conscious decision of the owner.

Keywords: internet, cookies, consent, trespass, electronic trespass, condemnation, search and seizure

JEL Classification: K39

Suggested Citation

Oppenheimer, Max Stul, Internet Cookies: When is Permission Consent?. Nebraska Law Review, November 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=937344

Max Stul Oppenheimer (Contact Author)

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

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