different stakeholders. Coalitions among business leaders facing similar limitations on their ability to make use of personal information for marketing purposes pooled their resources to support intensive lobbying efforts against the opt-in requirements that seemed likely in the European Union in 1990.27 These business coalitions also sought and received support from their nations’ trade commissions because of a well-placed concern about regulatory threats to the market in data-processing services. Coalitions among regulators were also common.28 Privacy and data protection commissioners met to develop strategies for preserving what they saw as important progress in the protection of privacy.

One result of the participation of so many actors with such varied interests and resources was the development of highly complex policy instruments. Unique and often contradictory policy perspectives continue to challenge policy advocates largely dependent on grants from foundations. Global policies regulating the treatment of personal information as it moves across virtual borders raise important questions about national sovereignty and respect for policies reflecting cultural values and social history.29 The presumed need to identify the location of the jurisdiction from which an order is placed, or is to be delivered, in order to determine whether a particular transaction can be completed within the laws of that region raises a complex set of issues for supporters of autonomous choice.30


Priscilla M. Regan, “American Business and the European Data Protection Directive: Lobbying Strategies and Tactics,” pp. 199-216 in Colin Bennett and Rebecca Grant, eds., Visions of Privacy: Policy Choices for the Digital Age, University of Toronto Press, 1999.


Colin J. Bennett and Charles D. Raab, The Governance of Privacy: Policy Instruments in Global Perspective, Ashgate Publishing, 2003.


National Research Council, Global Networks and Local Values: A Comparative Look at Germany and the United States, National Academy Press, Washington, D.C., 2001.


Priscilla M. Regan, “‘Dry Counties’ in Cyberspace: Governance and Enforcement Without Geographic Borders,” pp. 257-276 in Thomas Leinbach and Stanley Brunn, eds., Worlds of E-Commerce: Economic, Geographical and Social Dimensions, John Wiley & Sons, 2001.

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