In an op-ed for The Brookings Institution, Distinguished Visiting Fellow Cameron Kerry and Nonresident Senior Fellow John Morris Jr. write that any arguments for transparency on what kind of data users do and do not share with websites should not involve concepts of data ownership. "The trouble is, it’s not your data; it’s not their data either," Kerry and Morris Jr. write. "Treating data like it is property fails to recognize either the value that varieties of personal information serve or the abiding interest that individuals have in their personal information even if they choose to 'sell' it. Data is not a commodity." The writers said working as if personal information is "property to be licensed or sold" could create "enormous friction into free flow of information" if privacy rights are traded away. As a solution, they suggest maintaining respect for privacy interests is a better path to strengthening privacy.
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