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Paperback | $34.00 Short | £24.95 | ISBN: 9780262524537 | 382 pp. | 6 x 9 in | May 2006

The Governance of Privacy

Policy Instruments in Global Perspective


Privacy protection, according to Colin Bennett and Charles Raab, involves politics and public policy as much as it does law and technology. Moreover, the protection of our personal information in a globalized, borderless world means that privacy-related policies are inextricably interdependent. In this updated paperback edition of The Governance of Privacy Bennett and Raab analyze a broad range of privacy policy instruments available to contemporary advanced industrial states, from government regulations and transnational regimes to self-regulation and privacy-enhancing technologies. They consider two possible dynamics of privacy regulation--a "race to the bottom," with competitive deregulation by countries eager to attract global investment in information technology, versus "a race to the top," with the progressive establishment of global privacy standards.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.


“"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
“"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”
“"*Digitizing the News* shows how dramatic innovations can unfold from the co-evolution of social and technical choices made over several decades. Putting the news online is changing the production, editing and consumption of news in ways that shape content in significant ways. How different enterprises have made these choices around the Internet and the news has created a variety of paths to the future of electronic news media. Students in the social sciences and humanities, particularly within communication and journalism, will value this book, which illustrates how research on new media can inform, and be informed by, social studies of science and technology."--William H. Dutton, Director, Oxford Internet InstitutePlease note: Endorser gives permission to excerpt from quote.”
“"*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”