This Note will explore the well-established right to destroy your own property and how such a fundamental right can and should be applied to our online property to develop more protective data privacy legislation. Part I highlights the longstanding pillar of property law establishing a right to destroy one’s property, and how that can and should be applied to your digital identity. Part II will discuss the ambiguity of personal data ownership online and the ill effects resulting from the lack of control of our personal information on the Internet. Part III examines the current state of data privacy legislation in Europe and the first several states to enact their own data privacy laws. Finally, Part IV will comment on the shortcomings of Washington State’s proposed data privacy legislation and how a recognition of online property rights would cement greater protections for individuals both on and off the Internet.
Olivia Shangrow, Do We Own What We Post?: The Fundamental Property Right to Destroy Your Presence on the Internet, 46 SEATTLE U. L. REV. 155 (2022).