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2 U. Ottawa L. & Tech. J. 357 (2005)
Privacy Law in the United States, the EU and Canada: The Allure of the Middle Ground

handle is hein.journals/uoltj2 and id is 363 raw text is: Privacy Law in the United States, the EU and
Canada: The Allure of the Middle Ground
Avner Levin* and Mary Jo Nicholson'
PRIVACY AND PERSONAL INFORMATION are regulated differently in the European Union (EU), the
United Sates (US) and Canada. The EU and Canada centrally supervise the private sector's use of
personal data, whereas the US regulation of the private sector is minimal. These differences emanate
from distinct conceptual bases for privacy in each jurisdiction. In the US, privacy protection is
essentially liberty protection, i.e. protection from government. For Europeans, privacy protects dignity
or their public image. In Canada, privacy protection is focused on individual autonomy through
personal control of information. We propose the Canadian model as a conceptual middle ground
between the EU and the US, as a basis for future American privacy protection.
LA VIE PRIVEE ET LES RENSEIGNEMENTS personnels sont r6gis differemment dans l'Union europ~enne,
aux Itats-Unis et au Canada. L'Union europeenne et le Canada exercent une supervision centrale sur
l'utilisation des donn~es personnelles par le secteur priv6, alors que la reglementation du secteur prive
aux Etats-Unis est minimale. Ces differences decoulent d'une vision conceptuelle distincte de la vie
priv~e dans chacun de ces ressorts. Aux Etats-Unis, la protection de la vie privee est like
essentiellement a la protection de la liberte, c'est- -dire la protection contre le gouvernement. En
contexte europeen, la protection de la vie privee est centr~e sur la protection de la dignite et de
I'image publique. Au Canada, la protection de la vie privee est axee sur I'autonomie individuelle par
le controle personnel des renseignements. Nous proposons le module canadien, qui se situe a mi-
chemin entre les conceptions europeenne et americaine, en tant que fondement de la protection de
la vie priv~e en Am~rique dans 'avenir.
Copyright 0 2005 by Avner Levin and Mary Jo Nicholson.
BSc, LLB, LLM, SJD. Assistant Professor, Law Area, Faculty of Business, Ryerson University.
t   BA, LLB, LLM. Professor, Law Area, Faculty of Business, Ryerson University.

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