The Dark Side of Transparency: When Hiding in Plain Sight Works

72 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2021 Last revised: 6 Dec 2023

See all articles by Tatiana Mayskaya

Tatiana Mayskaya

National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow) - International College of Economics and Finance; National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow) - Faculty of Economics

Arina Nikandrova

City, University of London

Date Written: July 7, 2023

Abstract

A hider publicly commits to the number of seekers and then privately gets involved in a story, which may be compromising. Each seeker aims to be the first to learn and report a compromising story. The seekers learn the story privately and in continuous time. With more seekers, the hider's story gets revealed at a faster rate, but each seeker gets discouraged and ceases learning more quickly. To reduce the probability of a compromising report, the hider may optimally choose infinitely many seekers. Nevertheless, the hider unambiguously benefits from making it harder for each seeker to learn her story.

Keywords: transparency, Poisson process, strategic experimentation, private learning, privacy paradox

JEL Classification: C73, D82, D83

Suggested Citation

Mayskaya, Tatiana and Nikandrova, Arina, The Dark Side of Transparency: When Hiding in Plain Sight Works (July 7, 2023). Journal of Economic Theory, 212 (September 2023) Article 105699 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3855663 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3855663

Tatiana Mayskaya (Contact Author)

National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow) - International College of Economics and Finance ( email )

Pokrovski Bulvar 11, Korpus Zh, Office 715
Moscow, 109028
Russia

National Research University Higher School of Economics (Moscow) - Faculty of Economics ( email )

Shabolovka 26
Moscow, 119049
Russia

Arina Nikandrova

City, University of London ( email )

London
United Kingdom
EC1V 0HB (Fax)

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