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Law and Technology of Data Privacy: A Case for International Harmonization


  • Ko Haksoo

    (Seoul National University)


Data crosses national borders routinely. And any regulation on data privacy by an individual national authority could easily have ramifications beyond its jurisdictional boundary. This article lays out some of the relevant issues and provides an argument for international coordination and harmonization. As technology advances, various techniques are being employed and will continue to be employed to gather information on users. At the same time, with the information thus gathered, companies engage in highly sophisticated data analytics. In response to these developments, several national and regional authorities have put forward major reform proposals and discussions are under way. The current framework of addressing data privacy issues at a country level or at a regional level, however, has a risk of splintering the overall regulatory and enforcement regime at the global level. This article examines economic incentives of individual authorities and illustrates that, without international harmonization, there is a systematic risk that global welfare would be reduced due to individual authorities’ sub-optimal regulations. The article then discusses possible options for international coordination and harmonization.

Suggested Citation

  • Ko Haksoo, 2012. "Law and Technology of Data Privacy: A Case for International Harmonization," Asian Journal of Law and Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 3(1), pages 1-33, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:ajlecn:v:3:y:2012:i:1:p:1-33:n:7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Curtis R. Taylor, 2004. "Consumer Privacy and the Market for Customer Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 35(4), pages 631-650, Winter.
    2. Florencia Marotta-Wurgler, 2012. "Does Contract Disclosure Matter?," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 168(1), pages 94-119, March.
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