Who Owns “My” Personal Information?

August 2012

William B. Baker analyzes "Who Owns 'My' Personal Data" in an article published in the July 2 issue of Bloomberg BNA's Privacy and Security Law Report. In a world where many websites exchange content for information on users, provided through registration or usage tracking, such consumer information may be viewed as the currency of the Internet. Predictably, there is a continuing struggle as to what party is the "owner" of such valuable information.

Baker analyzes recent developments in three areas: (1) efforts to use common law and statutory theories to secure judicial recognition that the consumer has something akin to a property interest in such data; (2) the Obama Administration's issuing a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights designed to enable consumers to attach strings to data in the possession of businesses; and (3) emerging technologies and business models intended to help consumers monetize "their" personal information.

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