Online Advertising and Privacy

32 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2012 Last revised: 23 May 2014

See all articles by Alexandre de Corniere

Alexandre de Corniere

Toulouse School of Economics

Romain de Nijs

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Date Written: May 23, 2014


An online platform auctions an advertising slot. Several advertisers compete in the auction, and consumers differ in their preferences. Prior to the auction, the platform decides whether to allow advertisers to access information about consumers (disclosure) or not (privacy). Disclosure improves the match between advertisers and consumers but increases product prices, even without price-discrimination. We provide conditions under which disclosure or privacy is privately and/or socially optimal. When advertisers compete on the downstream market, disclosure can lead to an increase or a decrease in product prices depending on the nature of the information.

Keywords: online advertising, privacy, information disclosure, auctions

JEL Classification: D4

Suggested Citation

de Corniere, Alexandre and Nijs, Romain de, Online Advertising and Privacy (May 23, 2014). Available at SSRN: or

Alexandre De Corniere (Contact Author)

Toulouse School of Economics ( email )

Place Anatole-France
Toulouse Cedex, F-31042

Romain de Nijs

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014

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