The Fung Institute’s Chief Scientist, Ikhlaq Sidhu gives his insight on Internet, Economy & Privacy.
The Internet is a critical component of the global and domestic economy. The economic impact of the Internet on people’s lives is difficult to estimate in terms of dollars, but online advertising is the dynamo powering the Internet’s rapid growth. Internet advertising has grown dramatically over the past decade. Ensuring that online advertising revenues continue to grow will be central to the Internet’s growth and success tomorrow. One way websites gain more value from online advertising is by providing more relevant ads, which will benet both consumers who get more utility from these ads and advertisers who reach their target audience. Ads are targeted are based on information collected about users, which has
raised a lot of fear. Several of the most recent privacy violations, security breaches and lawsuits have accentuated these fears. In this report we analyze the growing trend of new regulations, like the Do Not Track bill, that governments are trying to legislate to protect the rights of the general public. These new privacy regulations could reduce the effectiveness of online advertising and thus reduce the available revenue to support free or low-cost content, applications and services. This report further describes the anticipated business landscape changes and identifies various new opportunities.