Owning Ourselves: Why the American Notion of Privacy Demands a Regulatory Answer to the GDPR at the Federal Level


The European Union’s General Data Privacy Regulation—which took effect in 2018—is widely thought of as the world’s leading data privacy law. Although some aspects of the law are quintessentially European, its core principles are concomitant with fundamental American legal conceptions of private property, privacy, and liberty more generally. This Note provides a jurisprudential argument for a general data privacy bill at the federal level in the United States. In doing so, this Note also briefly addresses key provisions of the European law, as well as American copycat laws at the state level, and public policy rationales for heightened statutory protections for data privacy.


GDPR, Data Privacy, Regulation



Christopher T. Collum (Washington University School of Law)





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