NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
loading...

Search Engines and Data Retention: Implications for Privacy and Antitrust

Lesley Chiou, Catherine Tucker

NBER Working Paper No. 23815
Issued in September 2017
NBER Program(s):Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

This paper investigates whether larger quantities of historical data affect a firm's ability to maintain market share in Internet search. We study whether the length of time that search engines retained their server logs affected the apparent accuracy of subsequent searches. Our analysis exploits changes in these policies prompted by the actions of policymakers. We find little empirical evidence that reducing the length of storage of past search engine searches affected the accuracy of search. Our results suggest that the possession of historical data confers less of an advantage in market share than is sometimes supposed. Our results also suggest that limits on data retention may impose fewer costs in instances where overly long data retention leads to privacy concerns such as an individual's ``right to be forgotten."

download in pdf format
   (351 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23815

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Goldfarb and Tucker Privacy and Innovation
Valletta w22935 Recent Flattening in the Higher Education Wage Premium: Polarization, Skill Downgrading, or Both?
Hong and McLaren w21123 Are Immigrants a Shot in the Arm for the Local Economy?
Alvaredo, Chancel, Piketty, Saez, and Zucman w23119 Global Inequality Dynamics: New Findings from WID.world
Besanko, Doraszelski, and Kryukov w23829 How Efficient is Dynamic Competition? The Case of Price as Investment
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us