The recent controversy on the intersection of competition law with the protection of privacy, following the emergence of big data and social media is a major challenge for competition authorities worldwide. Recent technological progress in data analytics may greatly facilitate the prediction of personality traits and attributes from even a few digital records of human behaviour. There are different perspectives globally as to the level of personal data protection and the role competition law may play in that context, hence the discussion of integrating such concerns in competition law enforcement may be premature for some jurisdictions. However, a market failure approach may provide common intellectual foundations for the assessment of harms associated with the exploitation of personal data, even when the specific legal system does not formally recognize a fundamental right to privacy. The paper presents a model of market failure based on a requirement provision in the acquisition of personal information from users of other products/services. We establish the economic harm from the market failure and the requirement using the traditional competition law toolbox and focusing more on situations in which the restriction on privacy may be analysed as a form of exploitation.
Economides, N., & Lianos, I. (2021). Restrictions On Privacy and Exploitation In The Digital Economy: A Market Failure Perspective. Journal of Competition Law & Economics, 17(4), 765–847. https://doi.org/10.1093/joclec/nhab007