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Search and Advertising

Economists are interested in how the design of ad auctions affects search engine revenues, and how access to the Internet – and thus to search engines – affects retail prices and possibly leads to higher prices for certain consumers.

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George Washington University law professor Daniel Solove outlines the findings from the New York Attorney General’s investigation into Oath’s violation of COPPA.
Berkeley privacy law professor Chris Hoofnagle shares the history of the FTC’s “KidVid” campaign to rein in advertising to children; and he outlines the relevance of the campaign today, forty years after its inception.
Princeton computer science expert Edward Felten explains the European Commission’s claims against Google for anti-competitive tactics.
Harvard economist Shane Greenstein examines the effect of free information technology, such as the Internet or online apps, on GDP. He proposes that “maybe it is time to focus on the demand-side measures of free goods.”
Stern School of Business economics professor Nicholas Economides provides an overview of the antitrust issues Google is currently facing in the EU. He offers insights from Microsoft’s antitrust challenges from a few decades ago.
Santa Clara University law professor Eric Goldman examines the Fakhrian v. Google Inc. case which pits a request for removal of defamatory content against Section 230 and the First Amendment.
University of Maryland law professor Frank Pasquale discusses three upcoming conferences that show the importance of “statistics and economics” in future tools of social order such as predictive policing and homeland security.
New York University’s Helen Nissenbaum and Finn Brunton offer ways to fight today’s pervasive digital surveillance in their new book, Obfuscation: A User’s Guide for Privacy and Protest.
Economist Joshua Gans, Rotman School of Management, examines the value of ad-blocking software to consumers and advertisers alike.
Harvard law and computer science professor Jonathan Zittrain asks in what situations is the manipulation of computer algorithms acceptable? And if it is sometimes permissible, should people have knowledge of the modification?
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Fact Sheets

Search Engines, Advertising, and Auctions

Search engines – such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, and a variety of other smaller search engines – help users find what they are looking for online by finding web pages that match user-entered keywords. Search engines are free to users, but typically earn revenue through paid advertising.

Quote

Sharing Data for Deals? More Like Watching It Go With a Sigh

"There are so many aspects of how companies deal with the public that obfuscates what actually goes on and so many attempts to placate people using jargon. I’ve spoken to lawyers who write privacy policies who admit — they admit — that they aren’t written for the public." — Joseph Turow, Professor of Communications, University of Pennsylvania

Joseph Turow
The New York Times
December 24, 2018

Featured Article

How Does the Use of Trademarks by Third-Party Sellers Affect Online Search?

This paper examines the effects of trademark use in advertisements by third-party resellers.

By: Lesley Chiou, Catherine Tucker