Consumer Protection In The New Economy: Privacy Cases In E-Commerce Transactions or Social Media Activities

Arent Fox
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As we face mounting data breaches and fears over loss of privacy, the article notes that, “as the public opinion evolves and increasingly concludes that merely possessing private data puts consumers at risk, consumers may demand concessions from institutions, retailers, and tech giants that possess personal data, whether or not they have been subjected to a large-scale data breach.”

The article reviews five major areas where privacy concerns have taken hold within the consumer protection framework:

1. legal cases targeting companies with an Internet presence without any data breach;

2. the injury-in-fact requirement;

3. the ability to prevail when data security services were not part of the bargain;

4. the monetary value of consumer data; and

5. social science research to determine whether consumers are concerned about privacy. While the article mentions that there have been significant barriers to relief in court for consumers, it concludes that legislators may view evolving trends as a justification for stronger consumer privacy protection policies.

Originally published in The Consumer Finance Quarterly Report, Volume 73, No. 1.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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