The Ownership of Data

29 Pages Posted: 17 Jul 2019

See all articles by Anastasios Dosis

Anastasios Dosis

ESSEC Business School; University of Cergy-Pontoise - THEMA

Wilfried Sand-Zantman

University of Toulouse Capitole

Date Written: July 16, 2019


We study the effects of property rights over the use of data on market outcomes. For this, we consider a model in which a monopolistic firm offers a service to a set of heterogeneous users. Usage generates valuable data but data extraction entails a privacy cost to users. We show that both the firm and users prefer the users (the firm) to own the rights for low (high) values of data. We further discuss the robustness of our results by allowing more contracting possibilities to the data owner. We show that the main trade-off between the two ownership regimes is robust to these extensions.

Keywords: Ownership, Data, Imperfect Competition, Privacy

JEL Classification: D82, D83, D86, L12, L19, L49

Suggested Citation

Dosis, Anastasios and Sand-Zantman, Wilfried, The Ownership of Data (July 16, 2019). Available at SSRN: or

Anastasios Dosis (Contact Author)

ESSEC Business School

3 Avenue Bernard Hirsch
B.P 50105
Cergy - Pontoise Cedex, NA 95021

University of Cergy-Pontoise - THEMA ( email )

33 boulevard du port
F-95011 Cergy-Pontoise Cedex, 95011

Wilfried Sand-Zantman

University of Toulouse Capitole ( email )


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