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Invisible market for online personal data: An examination

David Agogo ()
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David Agogo: Florida International University

Electronic Markets, 2021, vol. 31, issue 4, No 15, 989-1010

Abstract: Abstract Despite the widespread knowledge that corporations collect and exchange user online personal data (OPD) between themselves in a market for OPD, there have been few attempts to systematically understand the nature and structure of these markets or answer basic questions about the behavior of parties in these markets. This paper addresses these questions using records of data sharing behavior by 218 websites across eight economic sectors. Two datasets, collected 4 years apart, are analyzed using social network analysis (SNA). Findings indicate linear preferential attachment is the most likely coordinating mechanism in the OPD market. Further, this market has a much higher number of brokers (intermediary corporations that facilitate exchange between other corporations) than comparable markets. Building on these findings, implications for research and practice are presented along with future research directions.

Keywords: Online personal data; Social network analysis; Cookie-syncing; Personal data markets; Third-party tracking (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: L10 M15 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1007/s12525-020-00437-0

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