What is Privacy Worth?

The Journal of Legal Studies, 42(2), 249--274, 2013

57 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2019 Last revised: 10 Jan 2019

See all articles by Alessandro Acquisti

Alessandro Acquisti

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management

Leslie K. John

Harvard Business School

George Loewenstein

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Understanding the value that individuals assign to the protection of their personal data is of great importance for business, law, and public policy. We use a field experiment informed by behavioral economics and decision research to investigate individual privacy valuations and find evidence of endowment and order effects. Individuals assigned markedly different values to the privacy of their data depending on (1) whether they were asked to consider how much money they would accept to disclose otherwise private information or how much they would pay to protect otherwise public information and (2) the order in which they considered different offers for their data. The gap between such values is large compared with that observed in comparable studies of consumer goods. The results highlight the sensitivity of privacy valuations to contextual, nonnormative factors.

Keywords: Privacy

Suggested Citation

Acquisti, Alessandro and John, Leslie K. and Loewenstein, George F., What is Privacy Worth? (2013). The Journal of Legal Studies, 42(2), 249--274, 2013, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3305331

Alessandro Acquisti (Contact Author)

Carnegie Mellon University - H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
412-268-9853 (Phone)
412-268-5339 (Fax)

Leslie K. John

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

George F. Loewenstein

Carnegie Mellon University - Department of Social and Decision Sciences ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States
412-268-8787 (Phone)
412-268-6938 (Fax)

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