Transparency challenges the very existence of the Rule of Law.
That is the very provocative thesis of today’s guest, who suggests that there is a tragedy behind the web’s powerful lubricative effect on the flow of information. Data about your address, purchases, academic performance, travel itineraries, likes and dislikes are all quite simple to track down these days at little or no cost. We often give up this information voluntarily, in the interests of cultural participation, or obliviously when we simply skip a privacy notice.
And where it once took teams of archivists and researchers to dig up and collate dirt on people and institutions, today’s powerful automated online databases wield personal data over their subjects almost tyrannically, voiding the engineered obscurity of the past, and rendering anonymity obsolete.
Joel Reidenberg is the academic director of the Center on Law and Information Policy at Fordham University. We sat down with him to ask how we could re-engineer the