Kopafbeelding publicaties CPB

Choosing privacy: How to improve the market for personal data

This document is in dutch only!

CPB Policy Brief 2014-04, 12 June 2014

Businesses and the government are all collecting more and more personal data, and they use these data ever more intensively. This is mostly to the benefit of citizens, but not in all cases. Opinions about privacy vary greatly, and businesses use personal data in various ways.

Read the accompanying press release.

Weighing the pros and cons, therefore, is something that can best be done by the parties involved. Innovative use of personal data is stimulated by an increased freedom of choice for citizens and businesses, with people determining their own level of privacy. Having a market for the user rights of personal data allows citizens and businesses to make these choices.

Without government policy, the market for personal data cannot function properly in practice. For example, it is difficult to monitor how businesses use data, and drafting tailor-made privacy agreements between businesses and customers is costly. Enhancing trust is an important objective of the Dutch Cabinet. The work by the supervisory body, the Dutch Data Protection Authority (College Bescherming Persoonsgegevens, CBP), is crucial in this respect. However, in addition to trust, this also requires sufficient scope for making various choices and for entrepreneurship. This policy brief considers a number of related policy options. These options concern the right to erasure, the specifications of privacy agreements, use of personal data without permission, European supervision, certification, and technology that provides citizens with more control over their personal data.

This CPB Policy Brief was presented during the CPB Lecture 2014, which this year was delivered by Professor Susan Athey. A small book 'Information, Privacy and the Internet. An Economic Perspective' was distributed to the invited guests. You can download it here below.

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