Sovern Responds to NYT Article on Consumer Data Access

In a letter to the New Times Times editor published in the paper’s online edition earlier today, Professor Jeff Sovern responded to Natasha Swinger’s May 26 article on consumer data access, If My Data Is an Open Book, Why Can’t I Read It?.  Swinger explained that while some companies sell information about consumers to marketers, the companies won’t share that same information with consumers about their own activities.

Professor Sovern noted that “[t]his situation exists because laws do not specify what a privacy policy must contain — so companies that don’t compete on the basis of privacy are free to provide as little to consumers as they wish. A downside of self-regulation is that companies that don’t want to provide consumer protections can avoid doing so.”

Professor Sovern is a coordinator of the Consumer Law and Policy blog.

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