Internet Privacy Law: a Comparison Between the United States and the European Union

9303 WordsNov 15, 201038 Pages
David L. Baumer1, Julia B. Earp2 and J.C. Poindexter3 College of Management, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695-7229 Internet Privacy Law: A Comparison between the United States and the European Union Abstract The increasing use of personal information in web-based applications has created privacy concerns worldwide. This has led to awareness among policy makers in several countries regarding the desirability of harmonizing privacy laws. The challenge with privacy legislation from an international perspective is that the Internet is virtually borderless but legislative approaches differ between countries. This paper presents a functional…show more content…
Congress as a bill in January, 2003 (see H.R. 69). Even though OPPA is just proposed legislation at this point, it encompasses most of the necessary components for comprehensive protection of privacy online called for by privacy advocates and entities such as the FTC. It is also consistent with the Fair Information Practices (FIP) [9], which have operated as a guide for policy makers in the U.S. If the U.S. does indeed enact comprehensive online privacy legislation, it will most likely continue to use the FIPs as a guide and therefore, will closely resemble OPPA. The results presented herein will benefit managers and website designers of companies involved in international business, as well as policy makers. This paper is organized as follows: Section 2 reviews privacy legislation in the EU and U.S., Section 3 presents the comparative analysis between EU and U.S. privacy laws and Section 4 draws some conclusions and provides recommendations to managers and website designers. Privacy Protection in the EU and in the U.S. In 1980, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) issued the Guidelines on the Protection of Privacy and Transborder Flows of Personal Data. Commonly known as the OECD Guidelines, they established eight data protection principles for balancing data protection and the free flow of information. Although the OECD Guidelines are recognized by all OECD

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