Workshop: Economics of privacy and data labor

Do Markets Make Sense for Personal Data? by Aileen Nielsen

[ Abstract ]
Sat 18 Jul 11 a.m. PDT — 11:15 a.m. PDT


Collection and sale of personal data is a common and economically rewarding activity. However, the contractual model of notice and consent that governs this activity under U.S. law relies on an assumption that personal data can and does function as a market good. This paper presents experimental evidence of a conflict between the market nature of personal data assumed by many legal frameworks and the conceptual categorization of personal data transactions by the ordinary people putatively protected by notice and consent legal frameworks. I present two online vignette studies that repurpose designs from the taboo trade-offs literature and suggest that protection of personal data rises to the level of a sacred value.

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