Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Privacy Regulation

  • Fabrice Rochelandet
  • Silvio H. T. TaiEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_691


Privacy regulation is a set of rules and enforcement tools designed to control the collection and use of personal information. Not only these rules aim at protecting privacy, but also reducing the scope of misuses of information including identity theft, higher prices, spam, and effort spent by individuals to protect their data. The spectrum of privacy instruments varies from purely (self-regulating) market-based solutions to regulatory-orientated rules and from ex ante to ex post tools. The protection of personal data involves costs for firms, such as the restriction of available information and detrimental effects on innovation. From the consumer point of view, costs are related to consent and information issues, such as reading or writing privacy charts, complying with privacy standards and adopting privacy-enhancing technologies. Since there are privacy trade-offs arising from the interaction between this regulation and other economic and social issues, the economic impacts of privacy regulation depend to the adequacy of the privacy protection arrangement to the context.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Acquisti A, Brandimarte L, Loewenstein G (2015) Privacy and human behavior in the age of information. Science 347(6221)Google Scholar
  2. Anderson E, Simester D (2010) Price stickiness and customer antagonism. Q J Econ 125(2):729–765CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bennett CJ, Raab CD (2006) The governance of privacy: policy instruments in global perspective. MIT Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  4. Cecere G, Rochelandet F (2013) Privacy intrusiveness and web audience: empirical evidences. Telecommun Policy 37(10):1004–1014CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Jamal K, Maier M, Sunder S (2003) Privacy in e-commerce: development of reporting standards, disclosure, and assurance services in an unregulated market. J Account Res 41(2):285–309CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Koops BJ, Prins C, Schellekens M, Lips M (eds) (2006) Starting points for ICT regulation: deconstructing prevalent policy one-liners, Information technology & law series, vol 9. T.M.C. Asser Press, The HagueGoogle Scholar
  7. Milberg SJ, Smith HJ, Burke SJ (2000) Information privacy: corporate management and national regulation. Organ Sci 11(1):35–57CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Miller AR, Tucker CE (2011) Can health care information technology save babies? J Polit Econ 119(2):289–324CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Posner RA (1981) The economics of privacy. Am Econ Rev 71(2):405–409Google Scholar
  10. Rallet A, Rochelandet F (2011) La régulation des données personnelles face au web relationnel : une voie sans issue ? Réseaux 29(167):19–47Google Scholar
  11. Rochelandet R, Tai SHT (2016) Do privacy laws affect the location decisions of internet firms? Evidence for privacy havens. Eur J Law Econ 42(2):339–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Rubin PH, Lenard TM (2001) Privacy and the commercial use of personal information. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Norwell, MA, USAGoogle Scholar
  13. Schwartz P (2004) Property, privacy, and personal data. Harv Law Rev 117(7):2056–2128.  https://doi.org/10.2307/4093335CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Swire PP (1997) Markets, self-regulation, and government enforcement in the protection of personal information. In: Privacy and self-regulation in the information age. U.S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.IRCAVUniversité Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris 3Paris Cedex 05France
  2. 2.PPGEPontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do SulPorto AlegreBrazil
  3. 3.RITMUniversité Paris-SudParisFrance