Law in the Internet Society

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MayaUchimaFirstEssay 4 - 01 Apr 2018 - Main.EbenMoglen
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Maya Uchima
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What Are Some Solutions?

It is clear that data protection is a very difficult area to regulate, as the technology engineered to shield private information is constantly being hacked, revamped, and regulated by new rules. The blanket remedies proposed in the GDPR most likely will fail in the immediate short-term due to some of the problems discussed above. However, possible actions taken by consumers themselves may help in the implementation and effectiveness of the GDPR. Most significant is the level of awareness consumers have and their general technological savvy. The more informed the consumer, the more likely the offending practice will be sniffed out and protected against. Many consumers have become complacent because they know they do not understand how data privacy works and are willing to allow third parties to regulate it for them. With a more trained eye and the confidence in what is and is not permissible or dangerous, consumers will be better equipped to handle these violations.


This draft talks about the GDPR only to the extent of mentioning its preamble. There's no discussion of anything in the regulation, or of any of the machinery of implementation. To say that the bureaucracy is "shrouded in mystery" doesn't really account for the activities of the national public servants who are charged with the work, and who are in general not all that mysterious.

So I take it that the point of the draft is not in fact to analyze the GDPR or the system it creates. Nor is there a discussion—such as I hypothesized you might want to undertake—of the actual doubts expressed by critics who think the model of the data subject and her consent is problematic not because of doubt about what constitutes consent (an issue to which the regulation does speak in terms you don't discuss), but rather because consent is not a useful tool in dealing with environmental problems in which externalities, not individual choices, drive the policy calculus.

So from here, the route to improvement seems to me to lie through another effort at editorial self-scrutiny. What is the real subject of the essay? Let's get it said, clearly and without unnecessary decoration, at the top of the piece. Then you and the reader will both know what your goals are, and it will be easier for the reader to follow you as you achieve them.

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Revision 4r4 - 01 Apr 2018 - 17:06:40 - EbenMoglen
Revision 3r3 - 22 Dec 2017 - 21:24:00 - MayaUchima
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