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Privacy Markets

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In the era of the mobile apps and IoT, huge quantities of data about individuals and their activities offer a wave of opportunities for economic and societal value creation. However, the current personal data ecosystem is fragmented and inefficient. On one hand, end-users are not able to control access (either technologically, by policy, or psychologically) to their personal data which results in issues related to privacy, personal data ownership, transparency, and value distribution. On the other hand, this puts the burden of managing and protecting user data on apps and ad-driven entities (e.g., an ad-network) at a cost of trust and regulatory accountability. In such a context, data holders (e.g., apps) may take advantage of the individuals’ inability to fully comprehend and anticipate the potential uses of their private information with detrimental effects for aggregate social welfare. In this talk, we investigate the problem of the existence and design of efficient ecosystems (modeled as markets) that aim to achieve a maximum social welfare state amongst competing data holders by preserving the heterogeneous privacy preservation constraints upto certain compromise levels, induced by their clients, and at the same time satisfying requirements of agencies (e.g., advertising organizations) that collect and trade client data for the purpose of targeted advertising, assuming the potential practical inevitability of some amount inappropriate data leakage on behalf of the data holders.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory NetOS Group Talklets series.

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