August 28, 2008
Is It Time for a Uniform Law on Digital Identity?
Recently TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld published his wish list for a digital bill of rights consisting of
- The Right to Use and Reuse Content
- The Right To Control Digital Property On Your Own Device
- The Right To The Free Flow Of Information
- The Right To (Some) Privacy
- The Right to Control Your Digital Identity
About digital identity, Schonfeld writes "politicians may want to take a closer look at the EU’s privacy directive." The EU directive allows individuals to certify that the digital identity associated with their name in a given database is in fact theirs and to revoke access to that identity information on a case-by-case basis. Josh Blackman (George Mason) looks at a different facet of digital identity.
Protecting Your Digital Identity from "Omnivellance." Nothing is stopping virtually anyone from broadcasting live video feeds of street corners and other public places on the Internet. Josh Blackman (George Mason) calls the prospect of such pervasive human monitoring, "omniveillance" and, in Omniveillance, Google, Privacy in Public, and the Right to Your Digital Identity [SSRN], proposes a tort to balance privacy rights with free speech, and provides a remedy for victims of omniveillance. The tort emerged from existing privacy torts, borrowing from criminal law, criminal procedure, and paparazzi and voyeurism statutes. He develops a framework to remedy victims of omniveillance. While Blackman suggests that this be enforced as a common law tort so that each state can define the contours of the tort to meet their citizen's specific needs, drafting a uniform digital identity law could be a good way to get the task started. [JH]
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