...And Then There Was One: The Outlook for a Self-Regulatory United States 

December, 2005 - Ryan G. Moshell

Germany. November 9, 1938. Kristallnacht. “The Night of Broken Glass.” Nazi secret police and the Hitler youth swarm over Jewish businesses and homes, terrorizing and victimizing helpless individuals all over the country.1 SS leadership orchestrates attacks on every vestige of Jewish culture as “punishment” for fictitious crimes that will never be recognized by the rest of the world.2 These crimes against Germany’s own people are made possible by extensive government records of citizens’ personal information that Nazi rulers use to single out those individuals the rulers deemed undesirable.3

Fast forward to the present, where a European Union (EU) data-protection regime vigorously defends the privacy of an individual’s personal information from both the government and the private sector, largely as a result of the region’s grisly past.4 But the basis of the European desire for privacy is now based more on principle than fear, and the economic consequences of Europe’s stance impact the ongoing globalization of economic policy.5


1. The History Place, Kristallnacht, at http://www.historyplace.com/worldwar2/timeline/ knacht-bio.htm (last visited Oct. 29, 2004).

2. Id.

3. Jason A. Kotzker, The Great Cookie Caper: Internet Privacy and Target Marketing at Home and Abroad, 15 St. Thomas L. Rev. 727, 748 (2003).

4. See id. at 748-49.

5. Paul Lubreski, Europe Advances Consumer Data Protection Worldwide, SRI Consulting– Business Intelligence, at http://www.sric-bi.com/BIP/DLSS/DLS2320.shtml (Apr. 2001) (on file with author).


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