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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

An Industrial Era Water Reservoir Metaphor for the Data Misuses in the Information Age

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Danielle Citron has posted an article "Reservoirs of Danger: The Evolution of Public and Private Law at the Dawn of the Information Age" forthcoming Southern California Law Review, 2007. In the article she argues that current risks of misappropriation of personal information over the internet should be compared to similar challenges in former eras, where water reservoirs had to be eventually controlled through a stronger private law tort system. Here is part of the abstract:

Public choice analysis suggests that a meaningful public law response to insecure databases is as unlikely now as it was in the early Industrial Age. The Industrial Age's experience can, however, help guide us to an appropriate private law remedy for the new risks and new types of harm of the early Information Age. Just as the Industrial Revolution's maturation tipped the balance in favor of early tort theorists arguing that America needed, and could afford, a Rylands solution, so too the Information Revolution's deep roots in American society and many strains of contemporary tort theory support strict liability for bursting cyber-reservoirs of personal data instead of a negligence regime overmatched by fast-changing technology. More broadly, the early Industrial Age offers valuable lessons for addressing other important Information Age problems.

Posted by Orly Lobel on September 27, 2006 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

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Danielle K. Citron has put a new paper on SSRN, "Reservoirs of Danger: The Evolution of Public and Private Law at the Dawn of the Information Age." It is highly readable for the lay audience, and lays out (what I... [Read More]

Tracked on Oct 9, 2006 12:27:58 PM

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