May 19, 2022
Maurice Stucke is the Douglas A. Blaze Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of Tennessee and recently wrote Breaking Away: How to Regain Control Over Our Data, Privacy, and Autonomy.
Breaking Away sounds a warning call alerting readers that their privacy and autonomy concerns are indeed warranted, and the remedies deserve far greater attention than they have received from our leading policymakers and experts to date. Through the various prisms of economic theory, market data, policy, and law, the book offers a clear and accessible insight into how a few powerful firms – Google, Apple, Facebook (Meta), and Amazon – have used the same anticompetitive playbook and manipulated the current legal regime for their gain at our collective expense.
While much has been written about these four companies’ power, far less has been said about addressing their risks. In looking at the proposals to date, however, policymakers and scholars have not fully addressed three fundamental issues: First, will more competition necessarily promote our privacy and well-being? Second, who owns the personal data, and is that even the right question? Third, what are the policy implications if personal data is non-rivalrous?