Jeanette Teh


For all its remarkable attributes, the explosive growth in e-commerce and Internet use has had deleterious consequences for the privacy ofparticipating individuals, who are often unaware of the tremendous amount of information about them that is collected and analyzed These disparate bits of data are amalgamated to yield very identifiable consumer profiles, which are subsequently sold to other organizations, depriving the consumers of their ability to control what they divulge about themselves to others, potentially resulting in a loss of individuality and creativity. Through the use of cookies, which provides numerous benefits to both consumers and retailers, the many advantages of ecommerce applications and business models are realized. However, the reliance on industry selfregulation has led to a plethora ofprivacy infractions in cyberspace, resulting in the enactment of the Canadian Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and the U. S. plan under Bush to introduce privacy legislation after the Federal Trade Commission's recommendation. The task of drafting legislation is wrought with the complexities of balancing the interests of both parties, while attempting to address the tension of employing either overly or under-inclusive language. This difficulty is demonstrated in the analysis of PIPEDA's ambiguities, which is instructive for U S. states seeking to implement similar laws, who should note that privacy legislation ought to mandate full, informed consent through an express and explicit opt-in approach.