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Schudy, Simeon; Utikal, Verena (August 2015): 'You must not know about me' - On the willingness to share personal data. Discussion Papers in Economics 2015-15


Although understanding preferences for privacy is of great importance to economists, businesses and politicians little is known about the factors that shape the individual willingness to share personal data. This article provides three experimental studies with a total of 470 participants that help characterizing individual preferences for sharing personal data varying the characteristics of potential recipients. We find that participants’ willingness to share personal data with anonymous recipients decreases with the number of recipients. However, social distance to the recipients and the extent of personal data a single recipient receives do not decrease the willingness to share personal data. Further, we provide a methodological insight by showing that verification of personal data is essential when eliciting privacy preferences.