chapter  22
12 Pages

Consent and privacy

WithBart Custers, Francien Dechesne, Wolter Pieters, Bart Schermer, Simone van der Hof

Consent is a fundamental concept in privacy and personal data protection legislation. Typically, personal information can only be processed based on (informed) consent by the individual concerned. However, in our information society, such consent may not always be effective, as several real-life cases have shown. In this chapter, we explore the discussion on the role of consent in privacy and personal data protection. We show how legal, ethical, economic and technological studies point to similar core issues, notably related to limitations of communication and decision making, inhibiting the effectiveness of consent for privacy protection. At the same time, alternatives to consent are not readily available or are difficult to implement. Knowledge of such discussions is essential for those involved in future developments related to consent and privacy as they point to more fundamental issues of the consent concept.