|Anonymity, Privacy, Consumers and Citizens|
This project will:
- analyse the distinct legal attitudes to commercial privacy taken in the EU and the USA respectively; and the difference between the concepts of privacy and anonymity, balancing the benefits of each against (1) the significant advantages accruing to individuals and consumers from collection of personal data; and (2) the potential abuse of anonymity and strong encryption by criminals, paedophiles and terrorists.
- assess the role of Internet service providers in relation to privacy and freedom of expression.
- determine what concept of privacy is appropriate in the context of on-line consumerism, and whether privacy should be given a different conception in terms of freedom of expression on-line.
- examine how far the on-line environment demands the commodification of privacy.
- publication in 2002 of a chapter (with Howells) on Anonymity and Consumer Rights in edited collection on anonymity and the law, to be edited by Chris Nicolls (Auckland), Miriam van Dellen and Corien Prins (Tilburg);.
- research into how regulation of direct marketing and “spam” (junk email) should be adjusted for the online environment and in particular the European advancement of a legal framework embracing the concepts of “opt in” and “permission marketing”
- delivery of papers at both Computers, Freedom and Privacy 2002 and BILETA 2002 disseminating the above research. Other conferences will be identified as the work progresses through years 2002-2006.
- publication of a detailed critique of the arguments advanced by Larry Lessig and Mark Stefik, among others, that the architecture of the Internet can, but perhaps should not be, adjusted to allow for a commodification of personal property rights.
- privacy and anonymity on-line will form a sub-theme of the Privacy, Personality and Privacy Colloquium to be held in 2002, and may form the core of a future Colloquium to be held in 2004/2005.