Ben Hup, MSc. student TU Delft
Hadi Asghari, Assistant professor TU Delft, Fellow Princeton

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    Posted in September 2017

    Broader project

    We seldom see incremental trade-offs offered between privacy and other qualities in online services. Many markets are dominated by large firms offering services for “free” and in exchange for personal data. There are less popular offerings in the other extreme, providing privacy and anonymity in exchange for lower performance and convenience. Offerings in between the two extremes are not common, despite post-Snowden surveys showing that a considerable group of citizens find privacy very important.

    The absence of services to fill this market gap is puzzling, and what this research project focuses on. In the initial phase we interviewed entrepreneurs and developers building privacy-enhanced services, to better understand their challenges,  and analyzed the results.

    In the second (current) phase of the project, we are conducting a survey to the broader community, to grasp how representative our initial findings are, and to evaluate possible policies.

    About privacy economics


    The economics of privacy is a field of research that studies the costs and benefits associated with personal information –- for the data subject, the data holder, and for society as a whole. Analyzing privacy from an economic perspective does not imply that all privacy issues have explicit monetary dimensions. Rather, it is a realization that decisions of data subjects and data holders about personal data involve complex trade-offs. (Acquisti 2014)

    As a field of research, privacy economics has been active for some decades. The relationship between privacy and economics has many dimensions. This project is focused on the “business of privacy” (availability of privacy enhanced technologies); contrast this with the market for personal information; or how privacy effects market efficiency. Below is a  non-exhaustive list of books, papers, and websites touching the broader field for those interested.

    Privacy economics remains somewhat of a niche field, despite this breadth of work. It  complement the volumes of legal, technical, and philosophical research on privacy.


    Privacy innovation survey

    Thank you for your interest in this privacy innovation survey.

    We are Ben Hup (MSc. student at TU Delft) and Hadi Asghari (Assistant professor at TU delft and Fellow at Princeton).

    The research tries to answer the main research question “What are the barriers and drivers in developing Privacy-enhancing Technologies in secure and private communication, and data storage?”

    We hope you will contribute to this research by filling in the questionnaire. The questionnaire is based on a model that was derived from the literature and interviews from experts in the industry. The result of the research is a better understanding of the adoption and diffusion of Privacy-enhancing Technologies and what factors drive or impede such diffusion and adoption.

    Please find the survey here:  .

    You are most welcome to fill it in and spread the questionnaire among Privacy-enhancing Technology producers such as companies, non-profits and open-source projects.

    Find more information on the Broader Project.

    Find more information About Privacy Econmics.

    For current activities and contact information of Ben Hup visit

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