The Class Differential in Privacy Law

Gilman, Michele Estrin
Brooklyn Law Review

Many Americans are willing to divulge personal information and even sacrifice civil liberties for the benefits of a wired world. They will turn over their spending habits for the convenience of shopping on-line, submit to body scanners and suitcase searches to travel by air, and tolerate Facebook selling their personal information to third parties in order to network with friends.1 These sorts of surveillance bargains are rarely struck by the poor. Low-income Americans travel more often by bus than plane, they lack money to shop at, and they are less likely to have a computer that makes social networking possible in the first place.2 This digital and economic divide does not mean, however, that the poor are insulated from privacy intrusions.