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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

Coping with innovation: The political regulation of personal information in comparative perspective

Today, we all constantly leave data traces, be it by using a cell phone, obtaining cash from an ATM, shopping with a customer loyalty card, being registered by cameras in public space, booking a flight online, or surfing the internet. Who can access these data? What can they be used for? Should there be a mandatory period after which they must be deleted? Societies make regulatory decisions on these issues, but political science and public policy research has given this topic little regard so far.

This ESRC-funded project hopes to make a contribution to both the academic and practical knowledge about these important issues. It examines the factors influencing different countries' regulatory responses to the emergence and proliferation of new personal information-related technologies by studying three subject areas (CCTV cameras, RFID chips, and biometric passports) across four countries (the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Sweden). The project will run for two years, starting in October 2007, and will be hosted at the Department of Politics and International Relations of the University of Oxford. The principal investigator is Dr Andreas Busch, Reader in European Politics and Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford.