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Title: Do deficiencies in data privacy threaten our autonomy and, if so, can informational privacy rights meet this threat?
Author: Bernal, Paul Alexander
ISNI:       0000 0004 2714 2615
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis sets out a model to examine how the internet functions. 'The symbiotic web' suggests a symbiotic relationship between corporations that have built business models dependent upon the gathering of personal data from people, and the individuals themselves who have begun to rely on apparently 'free' services (from search to email, social networking to YouTube). Having set out the model, the thesis looks at its implications: how it has contributed to many, both the positive and negative, developments on the internet in recent years, but also driven the mass gathering, use and holding of personal data. The symbiotic web is currently essentially beneficial to both businesses and individuals, but there are significant risks attached - risks associated with the accumulation of data and risks that the symbiotic relationship could become negative and parasitic, putting individuals' privacy and autonomy at risk. The implications of this model are examined through the use of case studies: the dispute between Google and the Article 29 Working Party over data retention, Phorm's 'Webwise' behavioural targeting system, and a number of smaller case studies about data vulnerability from the HMRC data disc loss to the ACS:Law hack/leak. The thesis suggests the development and use of specific rights designed for the internet to address the associated risks: a 'right to roam the internet with privacy', a right to monitor those who monitor us, and a 'right to delete data'. These rights would be set out as principles rather than enacted and enforced as laws, and brought into play through Murray's model of symbiotic regulation. These rights would support the positive development of the web symbiosis and encourage and shape new business models that are more supportive of individual autonomy and privacy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Internet functions, Symbiotic web, Symbiotic relationship, Google, Article 29 Working Party, Webwise, Web symbiosis