Self-regulation and the Certification of the European Information Economy The Case of e-Healthcare Information Provision
The trend towards Internet self-regulation is driven both by governments that feel reluctant to invest in direct regulation (because of freedom of speech concerns or high costs of monitoring and enforcement) and by the industry that is under the threat of rising public concerns over content (protection of minors, hate speech, e-business confidence). Our first model explores how firms voluntarily commit themselves to industry-wide or global codes of conduct and reporting initiatives. Then we analyze certification mechanisms through which firms can credibly signal their commitment to self-regulation schemes in the absence of government enforced regulatory standards and use the theoretical results to analyze the logic of current decision making in this area at the European level. Throughout, we illustrate these concepts with a large number of global examples and more detailed European level studies.
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