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Privacy Intermediaries: A Business Model Perspective

Paper presented at the 24th International CINet Conference Conference in September 2023 in Linz, Austria

Riss, Uwe & Tödtli, Beat & Wolf, Patricia. (2023). Privacy Intermediaries: A Business Model Perspective. 24th International CINet Conference Conference. 17-19 September 2023, Linz, Austria.

Abstract: Protection of privacy has become a major focus in discussions about the future of the data
economy. Despite the potential of personalized services, users are increasingly aware of
the downsides of personally identifiable information (PII) in the hands of Big Tech
companies. Using design fiction and business model innovation, we construct a new
privacy data intermediary (PDI) that enables digital service providers (DSPs) to perform
algorithmic evaluations on PII while protecting privacy. The business model design is
checked for desirability, feasibility and viability. In addition, the related core service
ecosystem is examined for consistency. It is argued that under the obligation of a
separation of data storage and algorithm execution such an intermediary would have a
sustainable business model. The design of such an enterprise contributes to the
understanding of possible futures of the data economy and is to stimulate a discussion
about alternative, privacy-preserving ways of dealing with user data.