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Freedom of Speech and Segmenting the Citizens
Unformatted Document Text:  ICA-10-10582 8 However, as Shwartz (2000) argues, most fair information practices regulate the activities of private entities without silencing their speech (p.1562). Even in cases where fair information practices set disclosure restrictions on personal information, these restrictions do not represent an unconstitutional silencing of free speech (p.1564). Still, the Chilling Effect approach has important shortcomings. The most important of such shortcomings is that this approach assumes that individual awareness of surveillance practices is one of the main sources of this Chilling Effect. However, evidence suggests that awareness of such practices is not that high among the populace. For example, in a study conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the participants, despite indicating being concerned about intrusion of privacy, were not able to identify prevalent tracking methods, such as cookies, that were used on the Internet (cited in EPIC, 2002). What follows are the outlines of an alternative approach, which, while not at odds with Chilling Effect, identifies other benefits that flow from the First Amendment that would be undermined under the weight of surveillance and segmentation. V) First Amendment and Functions of Privacy a) Access to Information An informed citizenry is a crucial necessity for the survival of the democratic ideal. This notion, according to Jerome Barron, calls for a First Amendment right, which ensures that all citizens have access to information, along with an assurance that this information is free from the bias of the corporate interest (cited in Baker, 1992, p.2176). The use of predictive technologies by corporations often means that the information a citizen receives will be largely determined by the estimates of the views she would be more likely to accept rather than the information she needs in order to make an informed decision. The implication of this tendency is that individuals with certain political convictions will be increasingly exposed to authors with similar views and they will only find information that is in support of

Authors: Popescu, Mihaela. and Baruh, Lemi.
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ICA-10-10582
8
However, as Shwartz (2000) argues, most fair information practices regulate the activities of
private entities without silencing their speech (p.1562). Even in cases where fair information
practices set disclosure restrictions on personal information, these restrictions do not
represent an unconstitutional silencing of free speech (p.1564).
Still, the Chilling Effect approach has important shortcomings. The most important of
such shortcomings is that this approach assumes that individual awareness of surveillance
practices is one of the main sources of this Chilling Effect. However, evidence suggests that
awareness of such practices is not that high among the populace. For example, in a study
conducted by the Pew Internet and American Life Project, the participants, despite indicating
being concerned about intrusion of privacy, were not able to identify prevalent tracking
methods, such as cookies, that were used on the Internet (cited in EPIC, 2002). What follows
are the outlines of an alternative approach, which, while not at odds with Chilling Effect,
identifies other benefits that flow from the First Amendment that would be undermined under
the weight of surveillance and segmentation.
V) First Amendment and Functions of Privacy
a) Access to Information
An informed citizenry is a crucial necessity for the survival of the democratic ideal.
This notion, according to Jerome Barron, calls for a First Amendment right, which ensures
that all citizens have access to information, along with an assurance that this information is
free from the bias of the corporate interest (cited in Baker, 1992, p.2176). The use of
predictive technologies by corporations often means that the information a citizen receives
will be largely determined by the estimates of the views she would be more likely to accept
rather than the information she needs in order to make an informed decision. The implication
of this tendency is that individuals with certain political convictions will be increasingly
exposed to authors with similar views and they will only find information that is in support of


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