The Market for Data Privacy

72 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2019 Last revised: 25 Jun 2019

See all articles by Tarun Ramadorai

Tarun Ramadorai

Imperial College London; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Antoine Uettwiller

Imperial College Business School

Ansgar Walther

Imperial College London

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 24, 2019

Abstract

We scrape a comprehensive set of US firms’ privacy policies to facilitate research on the supply of data privacy. We analyze these data with the help of expert legal evaluations, and complement this analysis with data on firms’ web tracking activities. We find considerable and systematic variation in privacy policies along multiple dimensions including ease of access, length, readability, and quality, both within and between industries. We also find that large firms with intermediate knowledge capital intensity have longer, legally watertight policies, but are more likely to share user data with third parties. We set up a simple theory of big data acquisition and usage which predicts the observed relationships between firm size, knowledge capital intensity, and privacy supply

Keywords: privacy, data markets, web tracking, third-party sharing

JEL Classification: D8, K2, L1

Suggested Citation

Ramadorai, Tarun and Uettwiller, Antoine and Walther, Ansgar, The Market for Data Privacy (June 24, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3352175 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3352175

Tarun Ramadorai

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.tarunramadorai.com

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Antoine Uettwiller

Imperial College Business School ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London SW7 2AZ, SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

Ansgar Walther (Contact Author)

Imperial College London ( email )

South Kensington Campus
Exhibition Road
London, Greater London SW7 2AZ
United Kingdom

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