On the Internet, obscure information has a minimal risk of being discovered or understood by unintended recipients. Empirical research demonstrates that Internet users rely on obscurity perhaps more than anything else to protect their privacy. Yet, online obscurity has been largely ignored by courts and lawmakers. In this article, we argue that obscurity is a critical component of online privacy, but it has not been embraced by courts and lawmakers because it has never been adequately defined or conceptualized.
The Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School is a leader in the study of the law and policy around the Internet and other emerging technologies.