Many consumers are concerned about what information they reveal when they go online, how that information is protected, and how it will be used. Government regulators have clamored to answer those questions and impose their visions of online commerce. But the best answers will emerge from competition among firms to serve consumers. Because consumers have many options online, and because they can decline to use the Internet entirely, they can reward and punish online businesses on the basis of their privacy and security practices.

More on Privacy Issues


Facebook Deserves More Credit… Our Data Is Not “the Product”

By Ryan Bourne. The Telegraph. August 2, 2019.

The Peculiar Priorities of Adam Schiff

By Patrick G. Eddington. The Hill (Online). July 16, 2019.

The Snowden Effect, Six Years On

By Patrick G. Eddington. Just Security. June 6, 2019.

Cato Studies

Drones on the Border: Efficacy and Privacy Implications

By David Bier and Matthew Feeney. Immigration Research and Policy Brief No. 5. May 1, 2018.

The New National ID Systems

By Jim Harper. Policy Analysis No. 831. January 30, 2018.

What to Do about the Emerging Threat of Censorship Creep on the Internet

By Danielle Keats Citron. Policy Analysis No. 828. November 28, 2017.


Curbing the Surveillance State

Cato's Letter. Sen. Rand Paul and Sen. Ron Wyden. Vol. 15. No. 4. Fall 2017.

Don’t Panic: Making Progress on the “Going Dark” Debate

Julian Sanchez. February 1, 2016.

Transcript: Five Train Wrecks of Information Disclosure Policy

Walter Olson. Vermont Law Review. Vol. 38. No. 4. Summer 2014.

Public Filings

Frank v. Gaos

By Jeremy Kidd and Ilya Shapiro. Legal Briefs. July 12, 2018.

Examining Warrantless Smartphone Searches at the Border

By Matthew Feeney. Testimony. July 11, 2018.

Frank v. Gaos

By Ilya Shapiro and Jeremy Kidd. Legal Briefs. February 7, 2018.

Cato Reviews & Journals

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

Sam Batkins. Regulation. Summer 2019.

The Age of Surveillance

Policy Report. March/April 2018.

Surveilling in Secret

Policy Report. March/April 2018.


Eyes in the Sky: The Secret Rise of Gorgon Stare and How It Will Watch Us All

Featuring Patrick G. Eddington, Arthur Holland Michel, and Jenna McLaughlin. June 25, 2019. Book Forum.

Tyranny Comes Home: The Domestic Fate of U.S. Militarism

Featuring Christopher J. Coyne, Abigail R. Hall, and Matthew Feeney. June 19, 2019. Book Forum.

FOIA and You: Tips, Tricks, and War Stories

Featuring J. William Leonard, Nate Jones, Jason Leopold, Josh Burday, Colleen Murphy, & Patrick G. Eddington. February 13, 2019. Policy Forum.


Privacy Issues in Federal Systems

By Solveig Singleton. March 17, 1998.