Government, Markets and Privacy in the Digital Age
This book presents an evaluation of proposals to increase government regulation of the commercial use of personal information. Such proposals would require, for example, that companies provide specific notifications about their information management practices, or obtain the “opt-in” permission of consumers before collecting or using information about them. There is heated debate in Congress and elsewhere about the need for such regulation. Our goal is to inform that debate by applying widely accepted criteria to the analysis of government regulation: We ask, simply put, whether there are failures in the marketplace that result in consumer harm, and, if so, whether proposed new regulations would ameliorate these problems and yield consumer benefits greater than their costs.
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