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What’s Your Anonymity Worth? Establishing a Marketplace for the Valuation and Control of Individuals’ Anonymity and Personal Data
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Media and Information Technology. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering. (Media and Information Technology)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-1253-9671
2017 (English)In: Digital Policy, Regulation and Governance, ISSN 2398-5038, Vol. 19, no 5, 353-366 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose: The viability of online anonymity is questioned in today’s online environment where many technologies enable tracking and identification of individuals. By highlighting the shortcomings of government, industry, and consumers in protecting anonymity, it is clear that a new perspective for ensuring anonymity is needed. Where current stakeholders have failed to protect anonymity, some proponents argue economic models exist for valuation of anonymity. By placing monetary value on anonymity through Rawls’ concept of primary goods, it is possible to create a marketplace for anonymity, therefore allowing users full control of how their personal data is used. Such an identity management marketplace offers users the possibility to engage with companies and other entities to sell and auction personal data. Importantly, participation in a marketplace does not sacrifice one’s anonymity since there are different levels of anonymity in online systems.

Design/methodology/approach: The paper utilizes a conceptual framework based on the abstractions of anonymity and data valuation.

Findings: The manuscript constructs a conceptual foundation for exploring the development and deployment of a personal data identity management marketplace. By suggesting features allowing individuals’ control of their personal data, and properly establishing monetary valuation of one’s personal data, it is argued that individuals will take a more proactive management of personal data.

Research limitations/implications: Because the paper is conceptual in nature, it would be beneficial to explore the feasibility of establishing a personal data marketplace.

Originality/value: An overview of available services and products offering increased anonymity is explored, in turn, illustrating the beginnings of a market response for anonymity as a valuable good. By placing monetary value on individuals’ anonymity, it is reasoned that individuals will more consciously protect their anonymity in ways where legislation and other practices (i.e., privacy policies, marketing opt-out) have failed. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2017. Vol. 19, no 5, 353-366 p.
Keyword [en]
online anonymity, data protection, personal data, PII, economic value, identity management
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-138116DOI: 10.1108/DPRG-05-2017-0018OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-138116DiVA: diva2:1107308
Available from: 2017-06-09 Created: 2017-06-09 Last updated: 2017-08-16Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
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More languages
Output format
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  • asciidoc
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