Dismantling the ‘Black Opticon’: Privacy, Race Equity and Online Data Protection Reform

By Anita L. Allen

African Americans online face three distinguishable but related categories of vulnerability to bias and discrimination that Allen dubs the “Black Opticon”: discriminatory oversurveillance, discriminatory exclusion, and discriminatory predation. Escaping the Black Opticon is unlikely without acknowledgement of privacy’s unequal distribution and privacy law’s outmoded and unduly race-neutral façade. African Americans could benefit from race-conscious efforts to shape a more equitable digital public sphere through improved laws and legal institutions.

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