Feb 182011
 February 18, 2011  Posted by  Laws, Misc

Chris has posted his comments on Berkeley’s site.

One of the more interesting sections of his comments (to me, anyway) was his response to how the FTC frames American consumers’ attitudes toward privacy. Here are some snippets from his thoughtful commentary:

On page ii, the Staff Report adopts the frame of consumer attitudes towards privacy developed by Alan Westin. A number of academics have illuminated nuances to Westinʼs conclusions. In light of these developments, the Staff Report should reflect a different framing on consumer attitudes towards privacy.


Most importantly, the very idea of a “privacy pragmatist” is flawed, in that Westin made that group the default category. That is, under Westinʼs approach, if one is not a privacy fundamentalist or privacy unconcerned, they are placed in the pragmatist bucket. This makes little sense, because pragmatism requires certain affirmative behavior, such as taking time to evaluate different options. One is not a pragmatist by default; in fact, millions of Americans see pragmatism as morally questionable.

Read his full commentary here.

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