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R.: Your browsing behavior for a big mac: Economics of personal information online, http: //

By Juan Pablo Carrascal, Mauro Cherubini, Christopher Riederer, Rodrigo Oliveira and Vijay Erramilli


Most online services (Google, Facebook etc.) operate by providing a service to users for free, and in return they collect and monetize personal information (PI) of the users. This operational model is inherently economic, as the “good ” being traded and monetized is PI. This model is coming under increased scrutiny as online services are moving to capture more PI of users, raising serious privacy concerns. However, little is known on how users valuate different types of PI while being online, as well as the perceptions of users with regards to exploitation of their PI by online service providers. In this paper, we study how users valuate different types of PI while being online, while capturing the context by relying on Experience Sampling. We were able to extract the monetary value that 168 participants put on different pieces of PI. We find that users value their PI related to their offline identities more (3 times) than their browsing behavior. Users also value information pertaining to financial transactions and social network interactions more than activities like search and shopping. We also found that while users are overwhelmingly in favor of exchanging their PI in return for improved online services, they are uncomfortable if these same providers monetize their PI

Topics: browser plugin, economics, Experience Sampling, Personal information, Privacy
Year: 2013
OAI identifier: oai:CiteSeerX.psu:
Provided by: CiteSeerX
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