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Hastings Business Law Journal

Abstract

This note highlights the competing stakes in the online privacy debate. It provides an overview of the U.S. business model of companies that participate in data gathering and analysis, and why they do so (namely because of the emergence of Big Data technologies), and discusses examples of how online privacy has eroded in recent years, in turn highlighting the need for federal action. This note also discusses the current status quo of online privacy in America, and why current legislation is inadequate to address online privacy issues. It further includes a discussion of why the U.S. should let the new EU Directive be a guide for establishing its own comprehensive privacy protection framework, and concludes with an analysis of the most important principles that can be taken from the EU Directive. Additionally, strategies are discussed on how to incentivize companies to engage in beneficial research for the entire industry that could make the transition of complying with the new online privacy regulations more manageable.

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