Resources and Publications

The Real Privacy Issue

January 28, 2013
| Blogs & Op-eds

Rather than regulating (or even banning) technology with the hope that this will generate more privacy, policy should focus on the specific behaviors that are the problem. If policymakers are concerned about employers using private information on social networks to make hiring decisions, they should ban hiring managers from asking applicants for their Facebook or Twitter account login information. Or if policymakers are concerned about insurance companies using genetic information from individuals or family members to set premiums and deny coverage, then they should prohibit insurers from using this information for these particular purposes. By creating targeted rules focused on specific behaviors, policymakers can avoid the unintended spillover effects that come from regulating technologies and better ensure that consumers are protected from actual harms.