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  • Invasion Contracts: The Privacy Implications of Terms of Use Agreements in the Online Social Media Setting

    Online privacy is a concern of ever-growing importance. One fact that perhaps contributes to the concern is that there is nothing in website privacy policies that can adequately protect users. This note will take a close look at what, if anything, is failing that can explain the void of privacy policy terms that can protect users’ information. It will do so by looking at both legal and non-legal enforcement mechanisms for electronic contracting in general to describe the enforcement framework, and then apply that framework to privacy policies specifically to identify any failures. This note eventually finds that certain conditions must hold in the market (e.g., competition and a value on reputation) to allow non-legal sanctions and enforcement to keep parties from breach or opportunism leading to exploitation of private individuals. This note further finds that in the market for social networking, these conditions fail, and create opportunities for exploitation of consumers’ private information.