How Privacy Is Regulated
- Fair information policies should recognize and balance two opposing social values: the need for a free flow of information in our political and economic systems and the need for personal privacy.
- Sectoral Approach: Individual privacy safeguards are found in a patchwork of federal and state statutes targeted at regulating the use of specific types of information (e.g., medical records) or particular classes of information users (e.g., government agencies).
- Market approach is premised on the notion that there will be greater consumer demand for privacy-enhancing products and policies. Privacy would become a market commodity, and a competitive market for privacy protection would develop. The market itself would then protect privacy on a sectoral basis without the need for government intervention.
- Single Regulatory Agency would have the power to quickly change practices through rulemaking and adjudication. It also would reflect an overarching and proactive approach. However, the one-size-fits-all approach might not serve all the different concerns raised in separate areas of privacy. The NII committee also concluded that creating an expensive new bureaucracy would face considerable opposition.
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