Accounting and Finance Seminar - Ansgar Walther (Imperial)

4 March 2020, 1.00 PM - 4 March 2020, 2.15 PM

Ansgar Walther

G.15, 15-19 Tyndalls Park Road

Title - "The Market for Data Privacy"

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.

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