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Define "Harm"

ONLINE PRIVACY

August 27, 2010

In a report for The Wall Street Journal, Ryan Calo of Stanford University Law School discusses the key question that comes up in debates about online privacy, "What's the harm?" in cases where there is no fraud or identity theft. Calo, whose paper, "Boundaries of Privacy Harm" is set to be published in the Indiana Law Journal next year, suggests there are two types of privacy harm. "Subjective privacy harm can be triggered if you're creeped out," he explains. "Objective privacy harm is when a person's information is used against that person." In terms of privacy law, he explains that "many privacy claims fail for lack of harm. Harm has often operated as a hurdle because courts have a very difficult time articulating what the harm is." (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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