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Abstract

Consumers give away their data voluntarily and involuntary through their everyday online interactions. Many of these interactions are governed by “click-wrap” agreements in which consumers agree to data use terms with their Internet service provider (ISP), content provider, or an entire computing ecosystem through various layers of the Internet. This phenomenon effectively means that consumers lose control of their data to an endless web of third party big-data brokers unaccountable to the user. All the while, the increasingly dynamic and valuable nature of datasets makes it difficult to predict how data collected today will be used in the future. To help promote greater privacy protection to consumers, this article proposes that core elements of the Internet ecosystem adopt more robust transparency practices to clarify specific data collection, use, and sharing policies.

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