From Procedural Rights to Political Economy: New Horizons for Regulating Online Privacy

In Sabine Trepte & Philipp K. Masur (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Privacy and Social Media. Routledge. pp. 281-290 (2023)
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The 2010s were a golden age of information privacy research, but its policy accomplishments tell a mixed story. Despite significant progress on the development of privacy theory and compelling demonstrations of the need for privacy in practice, real achievements in privacy law and policy have been, at best, uneven. In this chapter, I outline three broad shifts in the way scholars (and, to some degree, advocates and policy makers) are approaching privacy and social media. First, a change in emphasis from individual to structural approaches. Second, increasing attention to the political economy of privacy—especially the business models of information companies, such as social media platforms. And third, a deeper understanding of privacy’s role in a healthy digital public sphere.

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Daniel Susser
Cornell University


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