Towards Balancing Privacy and Efficiency: A Principal-Agent Model of Data-Centric Business

Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9331)


Personal data has emerged as a crucial asset of the digital economy. However, unregulated markets for personal data severely threaten consumers’ privacy. Based upon a commodity-centric notion of privacy, this paper takes a principal-agent perspective on data-centric business. Specifically, this paper presents an economic model of the privacy problem in data-centric business, in that drawing from contract theory. Building upon a critical analysis of the model, this paper analyzes how regulatory and technological instruments could balance efficiency of markets for personal data and data-subjects’ right to informational self-determination.


Privacy economics Privacy Property rights Accountability Principal-agent model 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of FreiburgFreiburg im BreisgauGermany

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