AFFIRMATIVE-SOLVENCY-INFORMATION OWNERSHIP PROPERTY RIGHT 21
PROPERTY RIGHT FOR INFORMATION PROTECTS PRIVACY
A PERSONAL PROPERTY RIGHT TO PERSONAL INFORMATION IS THE BEST WAY TO PROTECT CONSUMER PRIVACY
James Rule & Lawrence Hunter, Prof. of Sociology at SUNY-Stony Brook & Computer Scientist at (U.S.) National Library of Medicine, "Toward Property Rights in Personal Data," VISIONS OF PRIVACY: Policy Choices for the Digital Age, 1999, EE2001 -JGM) P. 180
Privacy advocates cannot expect their efforts to be blessed by the propounding of an equivalent of habeas corpus. Privacy values will always, quite properly, be qualified in practice by a host of other claims on personal information. But this fact should not stop us from seeking the most broadly applicable and, most politically appealing and defensible measures available to protect privacy interests.
We feel that we have identified an opening for one such measure. Creation of the property right we propose would work broadly to protect a principle held essential by nearly every privacy advocate - that the individual ought not to lose control over his or her data, once having confided it to a specific party for a specific purpose. This goal has been elusive, to say the least, in the more than a generation since the first privacy controversies.
Let us stress that the measure we propose here could never represent a panacea for legal and policy dilemmas associated with privacy protection. Many important questions are simply beyond the purview of our proposal; for example, the crucial matter of what forms of personal data ought to be subject to collection by state and private organizations in the first place. But where data are provided, for any purpose, the question remains of what can be done to protect them from subsequent misuse. The idea that people ought to 'own' their own data, for commercial purposes, is one tool that offers great promise in addressing such dilemmas.
THE PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHT TO PERSONAL DATA WOULD PROTECT PRIVACY BY ENTRENCHING IT IN THE CIVIC CULTURE
James Rule & Lawrence Hunter, Prof. of Sociology at SUNY-Stony Brook & Computer Scientist at (U.S.) National Library of Medicine, "Toward Property Rights in Personal Data," VISIONS OF PRIVACY: Policy Choices for the Digital Age, 1999, EE2001 - JGM, P. 174
We believe that establishing a right of this kind would enhance the classic interests of privacy protection in a variety of direct and indirect ways. The first, and most basic gain would be in the realm of civic culture. Instatement of the principle proposed here would immediately make it plain to every citizen how much he or she shared an interest in the protection of personal information. Most people, we think, would greatly value the right to control commercialization of such information. Do we all not find something intuitively compelling about the notion that, having yielded our data for one purpose, we should not expect those data to be reused without our knowledge or permission? At least one American public opinion study has shown wide public assent for the idea that companies ought to pay for the commercial use of private citizens' data. 6 Securing a right of this kind would constitute a significant political victory for the privacy protection movement in the eyes of the general public. Our movement could use such victories.
OWNERSHIP OF DATA ABOUT YOU CAN PROTECT IT THROUGH CONTEXT DECISIONS
Charles J. Sykes, The San Francisco Chronicle, APRIL 30, 2000, SECTION: SUNDAY CHRONICLE; Pg. 1/Z1 TITLE: Invasion of the Privacy Snatchers // acs-EE2001
A better question is whether you should have some control over who knows, or has access to, the details of your life. When it comes to privacy, context matters. Information we would gladly share with a sister, we might be unwilling to share with a parent, much less a neighbor. We might discuss with a friend details of our sex lives that we wouldn't dream of revealing to a government agent or (God forbid) the media. Whom would you want to know that you take Viagra? Your in-laws? How about your co-workers? Your employer? Your banker? The local newspaper?
PRIVATE PROPERTY RIGHTS GIVE INDIVIDUALS MEANINGFUL CONTROL OVER THEIR PERSONAL INFORMATION
James Rule & Lawrence Hunter, Prof. of Sociology at SUNY-Stony Brook & Computer Scientist at (U.S.) National Library of Medicine, "Toward Property Rights in Personal Data," VISIONS OF PRIVACY: Policy Choices for the Digital Age, 1999, EE2001 -JGM P. 177
In strictly political terms, we see no gain for privacy advocates from opposing uses of personal information that are in fact welcomed by the people concerned. Indeed, the idea of legal strictures categorically forbidding the release of personal data for mass marketing strikes us as politically disastrous, given that some citizens apparently actually enjoy the unsolicited communications that result. The privacy protection movement will do best if it can develop policies that both enable citizens to release personal data when it lies in their interest to do so, and to block such release when they prefer. We need measures to grant meaningful control over one's personal data, enhancing rather than removing individual discretion in this respect.