The politics of privacy in the cyber age: a study of corporate influence over Internet privacy regulations

Lead Research Organisation: King's College London
Department Name: Political Economy

Abstract

The evolving nature of information and communications
technology profoundly impacts the protection of personal
data and Internet privacy. Recent events, such as the
Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal, have shown that
governments and corporations now have an unprecedented
ability to collect, manipulate, and even sell information
about personal habits. Who governs global Internet privacy
regulations? My Ph.D. project seeks to answer this question
by examining the role played by corporate interests in
shaping data and privacy regulations at the global level. To
what extent do powerful corporate interests dominate
global privacy regulations or do these regulations reflect
the interests of a broader range of societal interests? I
propose an empirical examination of these questions in the
context of the ''focal regulatory agencies'' that determine
Internet privacy regulations at the global level: namely,
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers
(ICANN), World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), and Internet
Society. My central argument is that the superior resources
of corporate interests, like greater finances and policyrelevant information, are sufficient but not necessary
conditions for influencing global data protection standards.
Instead, how resources get translated into influence
depends largely on institutional opportunity (the amount of
access to decision-making processes) and issue salience
(the amount of public attention given to specific regulatory
issues).

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
ES/P000703/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2027
2434723 Studentship ES/P000703/1 01/10/2019 30/09/2022 Elise Antoine