DRM for Privacy. Part 1

Details

Author(s):
  • M. Ryan Calo
Publish Date:
August 11, 2011
Publication Title:
Concurring Opinions blog, August 11, 2011
Format:
Online Discussion Forum/Blogs
Citation(s):
  • Ryan Calo, DRM for Privacy. Part 1, Concurring Opinions blog, August 11, 2011.
Related Organization(s):

Abstract

Online privacy has been getting quite a bit of attention of late. But the problem seems as intractable as ever. In a pair of posts, I will explore one aspect of the online privacy debate and, drawing from a controversial corner of copyright law, suggest a modest fix. This first post discusses the problem of consumer tracking and the lack of any good solutions. You may want to skip this post if you are familiar with the online privacy ecosystem (and uninterested in correcting my oversimplifications and mistakes). The next post discusses how an often criticized provision of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act—the anti-circumvention clause—might hold lessons for consumer privacy. This provision prohibits tampering with so-called digital rights management. The law has its problems as a mechanism to enforce copyright. As applied to consumers’ efforts to protect their privacy, however, a few of Section 1201’s bugs metamorphose into features.