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Why the Economics Profession Must Actively Participate in the Privacy Protection Debate

John Abowd (), Ian Schmutte, William N. Sexton and Lars Vilhuber

Working Papers from U.S. Census Bureau, Center for Economic Studies

Abstract: When Google or the U.S. Census Bureau publish detailed statistics on browsing habits or neighborhood characteristics, some privacy is lost for everybody while supplying public information. To date, economists have not focused on the privacy loss inherent in data publication. In their stead, these issues have been advanced almost exclusively by computer scientists who are primarily interested in technical problems associated with protecting privacy. Economists should join the discussion, first, to determine where to balance privacy protection against data quality; a social choice problem. Furthermore, economists must ensure new privacy models preserve the validity of public data for economic research.

Pages: 13 pages
Date: 2019-03
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hpe, nep-pke and nep-sog
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https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2019/CES-WP-19-09.pdf First version, 2019 (application/pdf)

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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:cen:wpaper:19-09

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