The Economics of Privacy

Laura Brandimarte and Alessandro Acquisti

in The Oxford Handbook of the Digital Economy

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780195397840
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 The Economics of Privacy

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This article, which introduces the important issue of privacy in the digital economy, specifically mentions the economic roots and nuances of the current privacy debate. The meaning of privacy has evolved over time and across cultures. Most of the economics research on privacy is about informational privacy. Studying privacy implies facing semantic ambiguities and contradictions. It is noted that economics provides a useful framework to address privacy issues. The economics of privacy can highlight the costs and benefits linked with the changing boundaries between public and private spheres, and in particular, with the protection and revelation of personal information. Targeted advertising is a form of unsolicited marketing. It has been shown that standard assumptions which economists make in order to resolve the trade-offs may need to be revisited when it comes to analyzing privacy decision making.

Keywords: privacy; digital economy; economics; costs; targeted advertising; marketing; privacy decision making

Article.  11697 words. 

Subjects: Economics ; Economic Development and Growth

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