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The purpose of this study has been to apply standard economic reasoning to the question of whether to impose new regulation on the commercial market for personal information. We have found that the commercial market for information appears to be working well and responding to consumers’ concerns. Despite perceptions to the contrary, there is a striking lack of evidence of consumer harm from privacy violations associated with the commercial use of information for advertising and marketing purposes. We have found no evidence of market failure that would justify the adoption of new regulations in this area. Because there is no evidence of consumer harm, there is no reason to expect regulation to produce any benefits.
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