Emergent Privacy

17 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2013 Last revised: 30 Jul 2014

Date Written: July 30, 2014


Defining privacy is a long sought goal for philosophers and legal scholars alike. Current definitions lack mathematical rigor. They are therefore impracticable for domains such as economics and computer science in which privacy needs to be quantified and computed.

This paper describes a game theoretic framework in which privacy requires no definition per se. Rather, it is an emergent property of specific games, the strategy by which players maximize their reward. In this context, key activities related to privacy, such as methods for its protection and ways in which it is traded, are given concrete meaning.

Based in game theory, emergent privacy demonstrates that the right to privacy can be derived, at least in part, on a utilitarian philosophical basis.

Keywords: privacy, game theory

Suggested Citation

Wolff, Ran, Emergent Privacy (July 30, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2193164 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2193164

Ran Wolff (Contact Author)

Yahoo Research ( email )

Santa Clara, CA 95054
United States

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