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Part I The Growing Data-Driven Economy, 5 Why Haven’t Market Forces Addressed Consumers’ Privacy Concerns?

Maurice E. Stucke, Allen P. Grunes

From: Big Data and Competition Policy

Maurice Stucke, Allen Grunes

From: Oxford Competition Law (http://oxcat.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. All Rights Reserved.date: 20 September 2020

Market power — Rights — Online sales — Technology

This chapter explores the reasons why market forces are not promoting services that protect consumer privacy. One possible explanation is that consumers—especially younger ones—are not concerned about privacy. But survey data refutes this claim. A second possible explanation is that competition, at times, can worsen, rather than improve, the privacy protections. But that still leaves markets where competitive market forces should be responsive to consumers’ demand for better privacy protections, but are not. The fundamental problem in these markets is that consumers lack viable alternatives. It is in here where the core concern of competition policy—namely the accumulation of market power—intersects with privacy concerns. The main reason why market forces have not yielded the privacy protections that consumers want/demand is the absence of meaningful competition.

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