Bennett and Raab begin by discussing the goals of privacy protection, the liberal and individualist assumptions behind it, and the neglected relationship between privacy and social equity. They describe and evaluate different policy instruments, including the important 1995 Directive on Data Protection from the European Union, as well as the general efficacy of the "top-down" statutory approach and self-regulatory and technological alternatives to it. They evaluate the interrelationships of these policy instruments and their position in a global framework of regulation and policy by state and non-state actors. And finally, they consider whether all of this policy activity at international, national, and corporate levels necessarily means higher levels of privacy protection.
About the Authors
Colin Bennett is Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Victoria, British Columbia. He is the author of The Privacy Advocates: Resisting the Spread of Surveillance (MIT Press, 2008) and coauthor (with Charles Raab) of The Governance of Privacy: Policy Instruments in Global Perspective (updated paperback edition, MIT Press, 2006).
Charles Raab is Professor of Government in the School of Social and Political Studies at the University of Edinburgh.
"Regulating privacy and data protection must be focused on outcomes, not mindless legal compliance. More and more private and public organizations are recognizing the sensitivity and importance of the issues. This wide-ranging and thought-provoking book guides policy makers and regulators to identify and elaborate the outcomes which need to be pursued."
—Richard Thomas, Information Commissioner, United Kingdom
"A tour de force. In this book, two political scientists present the results of a decade of scrutiny of information privacy regulatory practices. It also offers an extremely insightful analysis of different dimensions of information privacy laws in different countries."
—Paul Schwartz, Brooklyn Law School
"The Governance of Privacy is required reading for those of us seriously concerned about the politics of privacy and data protection in the global information age."
—David Flaherty, former Information and Privacy Commissioner of British Columbia
"Unavoidable for all those interested in the architecture of privacy protection and in using it to better preserve and enhance our privacy."
—Peter Hustinx, European Data Protection Supervisor
"A fresh and direct approach to the issues at stake, leaving the reader with the recognition that privacy protection is indissolubly bound up with social and economic policy issues of modern society."
—Anne Carblanc, OECD, Paris
"This book should be required reading for any serious student or practitioner concerned about the privacy of personal information inour globally networked society."
—William H. Dutton, Director, Oxford Internet Institute