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Home > Privacy and Business > Online Privacy > The Value of Free-Flowing Information Online

The Value of Free-Flowing Information Online

The Internet exists to move information. There is little doubt that the Internet and information technology have played a big part of the sustained economic growth we have enjoyed in recent years. Economic growth is not an abstract concept. It means more consumers are able to buy more things that they want and need.

One of the best known, and most controversial ways that information is being used to improve consumer access to goods and services is by improving the availability of information about consumers to business. When businesses have a better understanding of who is buying what and why, they can deliver better products more quickly and cheaply to the people who are interested in them. This lowers costs and improves the availability of goods to consumers. Internet businesses pay consumers back for the value of their personal information.

Because the Internet is only a few years old, there are many innovations in uses of information that have yet to be realized. If allowed to develop unimpeded, information-based businesses will continue to squeeze inefficiency and waste out of the economy, sharing the benefits with consumers and investors alike.

Any proposals to cut off freedom of information online would thwart innovations that have yet to come into existence and prevent further benefits from flowing to consumers.


Double-Click For Consumers by Jessica Melugin, Competitive Enterprise Institute (August 1, 2000)

Facts & Figures, The Internet Economy Indicators (June, 2000)

Key Findings, The Internet Economy Indicators (June, 2000)

The Evolving Demand for Skills, Remarks by Chairman Alan Greenspan at the U.S. Department of Labor National Skills Summit (April 11, 2000)

Comments Submitted in the FTC/NTIA Workshop on Online Profiling by Solveig Singleton, Cato Institute (October 18, 1999)

Privacy is the Problem, Not the Solution by Jeffrey Obser, Salon (June 26, 1997)

Comments? (Subject: OnlineInfoValue)

[updated 10/17/00]

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