Academic journal article Journal of Information Ethics

The Governance of Privacy: Policy Instruments in Global Perspective

Academic journal article Journal of Information Ethics

The Governance of Privacy: Policy Instruments in Global Perspective

Article excerpt

The Governance of Privacy: Policy Instruments in Global Perspective Colin J. Bennett and Charles D. Raab. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2003. 272 pp. $89.95.

Colin J. Bennett and Charles D. Raab are no strangers to audiences interested in a thoughtful yet rigorous discussion of privacy, Bennett for his precise work on comparative protection mechanisms and Raab of late for his critical work on trust in cyberspace. This volume builds upon those strengths and the author's collaborative work of the nineties.

The authors pose that this journey through the possibilities is an attempt to characterize options as a race to the top, bottom, or somewhere in-between or a movement in another direction, with the top being high privacy standards that in the name of economy and development some countries may want to weaken in the hopes of attracting investment. Often this carrot appeals to developing countries where personal rights are marginal at the outset. The true value that Bennett and Raab add to the extensive literature on privacy, a literature set in the context of developed and technology-rich societies, is to place the broader issues of privacy in a global and developing context.

This is a book for those who think and like to see what others think about privacy and the various and possible policy responses to it and the regulatory impact those policy choices may have. For readers who want to begin thinking about privacy critically this is a fine place to start. The text is thorough in its coverage and citation, with most if not all of the relevant work on privacy from various perspectives and disciplines represented. …

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