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Article
Privacy for sale - Business as usual in the 21st century: An economic and normative critique
Journal of information ethics (2007)
  • Wilhelm Peekhaus
Abstract
In this paper the author sets out to analyze and critique the commodification of privacy model advanced by Kenneth Laudon. Situating this marketbased model of privacy within the context of the resurgence of neo-classical economics of the last two decades, the author asserts that contemporary economic models, and in particular the intellectual property regime, have difficulty in adequately conceptualizing and treating information. When considering the implications extended by the commodification of privacy model for social and power relationships in society, the author argues that the model gives rise to increased surveillance and greater opportunities for social control and decentering of the individual vis-à-vis commercial institutions. Expanding the panoptic metaphor permits an analysis of additional risks posed to individuals and society as a result of the increased surveillance made possible by the commodification of privacy model. Ultimately, the author concludes that the commodification of privacy model emphasizes one particular instrumental value of privacy that is misaligned with the normatively more important goals and objectives of privacy protection.
Keywords
  • privacy,
  • commodification of personal information,
  • Kenneth Laudon
Publication Date
2007
Citation Information
Wilhelm Peekhaus. "Privacy for sale - Business as usual in the 21st century: An economic and normative critique" Journal of information ethics Vol. 16 (2007)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/wilhelm_peekhaus/7/