This post is part of a post series where we round up some of the interesting news and resources we’re finding.For a PDF version of this post, and for archived issues of previous posts, click here. We cover health issues in a separate post.
The recent case of Google v. Vidal-Hall in the UK has generated quite a buzz, with Omer Tene calling it the “European privacy judicial decision of a decade.”
The case illustrates several fascinating aspects of the developing global law of privacy, with big implications for online marketing, Big Data, and the Internet of Things.
At first blush, it is easy to see the case as one more divergence between how privacy is protected in the EU and US, with a European Court once again showing how much eager it is to protect privacy than an American one. But the biggest takeaway from the case is not one of divergence; it is one of convergence!
Does scholarship really have an impact? For a long time, naysayers have attacked scholarship, especially scholarship about law. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts once remarked: “Pick up a copy of any law review that you see, and the first article is likely to be, you know, the influence of Immanuel Kant on evidentiary approaches in 18th Century Bulgaria, or something.” He noted that when the academy addresses legal issues at “a particularly abstract, philosophical level . . . they shouldn’t expect that it would be of any particular help or even interest to the members of the practice of the bar or judges.” Judge Harry Edwards also has attacked legal scholarship as largely irrelevant.
The recent cases of Ebola in the United States demonstrate challenges to health privacy in today’s information age — both in preventing employees from snooping into patient information as well as preventing the disclosure of patient identities.