This Article begins from the premise that successful regulation of environmentally significant individual behaviors could achieve meaningful environmental benefits and argues that (1) technology is increasingly making information about individual environmental behaviors and associated harms more accessible; (2) better information about environmentally significant individual behaviors could substantially enhance fledgling efforts to regulate those behaviors; and (3) use of technology-enabled personal environmental information in support of regulation will require the resolution of myriad privacy concerns. The Article seeks to generate and inform a discussion about the appropriate balance between access to personal environmental information and privacy by identifying how regulation can benefit from personal environmental information, illustrating the trade-offs that can arise between regulation and privacy, and suggesting some initial thoughts to guide the identification and evaluation of privacy harms associated with access to personal environmental information. Part II describes how new technologies generate information about individual environmental behaviors and demonstrates how that information can enhance efforts to influence environmentally significant individual behaviors. Part III provides a preliminary overview of the privacy harms occasioned or threatened by the collection of personal environmental information. Part IV reviews some existing and proposed limits on the collection or use of personal information, motivated primarily by efforts to protect privacy in light of technological advance, to illustrate the trade-offs that can arise between regulation and privacy.
Katrina Fischer Kuh, Personal Environmental Information: The Promise and Perils of the Emerging Capacity to Identify Individual Environmental Harms, 65 Vand. L. Rev. 1565 (2012), http://digitalcommons.pace.edu/lawfaculty/1063/.