Joint Discussion Paper Series in Economics 14-2016
The digitalisation of the economy with data as the new critical resource is a technological revolution which requires an adaptation of the legal framework for markets and the economy. This paper analyzes the privacy concerns in the digital economy from an economics perspective. What can we learn from economics whether and to what extent we need legal rules helping to protect privacy? Particularly important are the complex tradeoff problems between benefits and costs of privacy and disclosure. This paper claims that it is not sufficient to look for policy solutions only in one field of the law, as, e.g. competition law or data protection law, rather an integrated approach from different regulatory perspectives is necessary. This paper focusses on competition policy, consumer policy, and data protection policy as the three main regulatory perspectives that are relevant for privacy concerns. For all three policies it is discussed from an economic perspective how these policies might help to remedy market failures in regard to privacy rights and privacy preferences of individuals, and how a more integrated regulatory approach can be developed.
digital economy Big Data privacy data protection competition law consumer law