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The Privacy Gambit: Toward a Game Theoretic Approach to International Data Protection


Horace Anderson


Pace Law School


Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2006

Abstract:     
When we speak of privacy in the Internet age, a distinction needs to be drawn between traditional privacy, the law of whether and to what extent the state can intrude in the private sphere of an individual, and data protection or information privacy, the regulation of the use of personal information about individuals by non-state interests, such as corporations. Unfortunately, much of the public discourse on the subject of information privacy adopts a framework (and a concomitant set of expectations) more suitable to traditional privacy: an inviolable right to be let alone by the state. As a number of commentators have recognized, the modern incarnation of privacy, rather than creating or reinforcing a sacrosanct right against the government, actually creates a quasi-property right, where personal data is a valuable commodity and access to it is negotiable.

Given the negotiable nature of information privacy, concepts from economics in general, and game theory in particular, can be useful in framing and explaining the ways in which actors in our information privacy system actually conduct themselves vis-a-vis personal information. The potency of privacy protection ebbs and flows, depending in part on the strategic choices made by a number of individual and institutional actors, including the individual him- or herself.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 44

Keywords: privacy, dataprotection, game theory, economics, information privacy

JEL Classification: C70, K00, K33

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Date posted: January 28, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Horace, The Privacy Gambit: Toward a Game Theoretic Approach to International Data Protection. Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1333908

Contact Information

Horace Anderson (Contact Author)
Pace Law School ( email )
78 North Broadway
WHITE PLAINS, NY 10603
United States
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