GDPR and the End of the Internet’s Grand Bargain

5 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2018

See all articles by Larry Downes

Larry Downes

Aspen Institute; Larry Downes Consulting Group

Date Written: April 9, 2018


After a decade of data misuse scandals involving public and private data collectors, the EU enacted its General Data Protection Regulation, which will dramatically change data collection and use practices worldwide. The poorly-thought out provisions of the GDPR, however, are certain to raise transaction costs for users, service providers and governments alike, costs that are unlikely to be offset by benefits. The Internet's grand bargain -- the friction-free exchange of information for subsidized content and services -- may be coming to an end, which may or may not have been the EU's intention.

Keywords: GDPR, Privacy, Intellectual Property, Licensing, Information, Search, Creepy Factor

JEL Classification: K21, K23, L11, L41, L52, L96

Suggested Citation

Downes, Larry, GDPR and the End of the Internet’s Grand Bargain (April 9, 2018). Harvard Business Review, April 9, 2018, Available at SSRN:

Larry Downes (Contact Author)

Aspen Institute ( email )

Aspen, CO 81611
United States

Larry Downes Consulting Group ( email )

245 Willamette Ave
Kensington, CA 94708
United States

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