Conformity or Diversity: Social Implications of Transparency in Personal Data Processing

  • Rainer Böhme


Consider the hypothetical situation of a society with virtually unconstrained storage and exchange of personal information, and shameless exploitation thereof for decision making, for example in contract negotiation. In this chapter we develop a stylised formal model to tackle the question if public knowledge about how exactly personal information is used in decision making changes aggregate behaviour. Simulation results suggest a slightly positive relationship between transparency and conformity, i.e., people tend to behave alike. This has implications on the common conjecture that collection and processing of personal information is tolerable as long as transparency is warranted.


Penalty Function Personal Information Information Asymmetry Privacy Concern Data Owner 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rainer Böhme
    • 1
  1. 1.Technische Universität DresdenGermany

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