Global Internet Privacy Rights – A Pragmatic Approach by Tim Wafa [University of San Francisco Intellectual Property Law Bulletin]

Abstract: The preceding decade was a time of considerable progress in standardization of Internet protocols and systems. The standardization that took place played a pivotal role in allowing companies to quickly and seamlessly share data across global networks, whilst avoiding the costly overhead and inefficiency of heterogeneous data-translation.Although technical standardization helped tackle some inefficiencies plaguing global online commerce, an even more pressing impediment stands in the way of companies and individuals seeking to efficiently provide web-based information services — the lack of global privacy standards.The existing global privacy rights framework is an amorphous hodgepodge of differing requirements, differing foundational definitions (e.g. what is “privacy”) and divergent policy motivations, in essence it lacks coherence. The lack of a worldwide privacy standard complicates the ability of information service companies to collect, store and share data about their online customers.This complexity increases the cost of delivering services and exposes companies to risks of privacy-infringement lawsuits. Companies that seek to provide global information data services are not only required to tailor each of their websites to meet the privacy laws of individual nations, but must constantly monitor changes to the legal systems of nations to ensure that their legal policies are in compliance.This paper reveals how today’s global privacy framework is affecting business efficiency and describes the international policy battle that is raging between nations, public-interest groups and corporate titans who are all vying to steer global privacy laws in a direction favorable to their own agenda.This article is available in full from:

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