A Framework for Privacy Legislation

by Jonathon Hauenschild

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Introduction

Privacy is en vogue. Policymakers from Washington, D.C. to Washington State are talking about it. They are holding meetings and proposing comprehensive legislation designed to control corporate access to, and use of, people’s personal information.

Rather than solve a “privacy problem,” many of the proposed and enacted legislation focuses on corporate behavior—what corporations must do to collect and use data. While most state proposals make it more difficult to collect and use information, the laws do not operate as complete bars to the use and collection of data. The type of regulations proposed by some states will do little other than restrict the flow of information, constrict the online marketplace, and ensconce incumbent platforms.