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Twilight of the Idols?

 EU Internet Privacy and the Post Enlightenment Paradigm

This article provides a timely examination of the European Union's approach to information privacy on the internet, an approach that some legal scholars have held up as a model for law reform in the United States. Building on the author's recent piece discussing the Us. approach to internet privacy, this Article applies to the EU's internet privacy regime a theoretical framework constructed from the writings of philosopher and social theorist Alasdair MacIntyre on the failures of Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment thought. The EU internet privacy regime is shown to reflect and reinforce three key elements of the "post-enlightenment paradigm," i.e., the sovereign individual, the market, and the administrative bureaucracy. The EU regime, like the Us. internet privacy regime stems from and helps to preserve a world in which the individual constructs a personal identity by trading personal information as a commodity to corporate bureaucracies in a regulated market under the supervision of impersonal government bureaucracies. In what Macintyre labels "the culture of bureaucratic individualism, "

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