Your Browsing Behavior for a Big Mac: Economics of Personal Information Online


This paper presents the results of a large-scale study aimed to understand monetary valuation that Internet users assign to different pieces of their Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Monetary valuation was obtained by means of a custom implementation of the Refined Experience Sampling Methodology (rESM).

The main results of the paper include:
- Users valuated their browsing behavior information at around 7€.
- Valuation of Offline PII was found to be significantly higher than Online PII
- Valuation of PII related to Social Networking and Finance websites was significantly higher than Search and News related websites.
- Even though users do not like the monetization of their PII, they would accept certain goods in exchange.

The paper was presented during the 22nd International World Wide Web Conference (WWW2013) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was also published in the Proceedings of the conference.

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