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First-Class Objects

By James Grimmelmann

Abstract

What is the difference between \u22James Grimmelmann\u22 and \u22@grimmelm\u22 and why should we care? Some computer systems, like Facebook and credit reporting agencies, are inherently \u22about\u22 people. Others are not. This essay argues that the key technical difference is whether they use unique identifiers to refer to people in their databases. From this single distinction, a host of social and humanistic consequences follow. The essay taxonomizes them and teases out some of their implications for privacy law

Topics: Unique identifiers, Computer Law, Privacy Law
Publisher: Scholarship@Cornell Law: A Digital Repository
Year: 2011
OAI identifier: oai:scholarship.law.cornell.edu:facpub-2671
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