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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 constructedfrom 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 "postEnlightenment 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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