Tearing the Veil of Privacy Law: An Experiment on Chilling Effects and the Right to Be Forgotten

41 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2013

See all articles by Yoan Hermstrüwer

Yoan Hermstrüwer

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods; University of Bonn - Department of Law

Stephan Dickert

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods

Date Written: August 2013

Abstract

Privacy law relies on the argument that consent does not entail any relevant impediments for the liberty of the consenting individual. Challenging this argument, we experimentally investigate whether consent to the publication of personal information in cyberspace entails self-coercion on a social norm level. Our results suggest that the monetary benefits from consent constitute a price that people are willing to accept for increased compliance with social norms. Providing people with a prior consent option is sufficient to generate chilling effects (i.e., a reduction of norm-deviant behavior). However, nudging people towards potential publicity does not increase the value they place on privacy. We also test how the default design of the right to deletion of personal information (right to be forgotten) affects chilling effects and privacy valuations. Surprisingly, the right to be forgotten does not reduce chilling effects. Moreover, individuals tend to stick with the status quo of permanent information storage.

Keywords: Social Norms, Nudges, Behavioral Law and Economics of Privacy, Consent, Right to Be Forgotten, Dictator Games

JEL Classification: C93, C91, A13, D03, K29

Suggested Citation

Hermstrüwer, Yoan and Dickert, Stephan, Tearing the Veil of Privacy Law: An Experiment on Chilling Effects and the Right to Be Forgotten (August 2013). MPI Collective Goods Preprint, No. 2013/15. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2311201 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2311201

Yoan Hermstrüwer (Contact Author)

Max Planck Society for the Advancement of the Sciences - Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

University of Bonn - Department of Law ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

Stephan Dickert

Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods ( email )

Kurt-Schumacher-Str. 10
D-53113 Bonn, 53113
Germany

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