Zorro: A Model Agnostic System to Price Consumer Data

Anish Agarwal, Munther Dahleh, Devavrat Shah, Dylan Sleeper, Andrew Tsai, Madeline Wong

Personal data is essential in showing users targeted ads - the economic backbone of the web. Still, there are major inefficiencies in how data is transacted online: (1) users don't decide what information is released nor get paid for this privacy loss; (2) algorithmic advertisers are stuck in inefficient long-term contracts where they purchase user data without knowing the value it provides. This paper proposes a system, Zorro, which aims to rectify aforementioned two problems. As the main contribution, we provide a natural, 'absolute' definition of 'Value of Data' (VoD) - for any quantity of interest, it is the delta between an individual's value and population mean. The challenge remains how to operationalize this definition, independently of a buyer's model for VoD. We propose a model-agnostic solution, relying on matrix estimation, and use it to estimate click-through-rate (CTR), as an example. Regarding (2), Zorro empowers advertisers to measure value of user data on a query-by-query basis and based only on the increase in accuracy it provides in estimating CTR. In contrast advertisers currently engage in inefficient long-term data contracts with third party data sellers. We highlight two results on a large ad-click dataset: (i) our system has R^2=0.58, in line with best-in-class results for related problems (e.g. content recommendation). Crucially, our system is model-agnostic - we estimate CTR without accessing an advertiser's proprietary models, a required property of any such pricing system;(ii) our experiments show selling user data has incremental value ranging from 30%-69% depending on ad category. Roughly, this translates to at least USD 16 Billion loss in value for advertisers if user data is not provided. Regarding (1), in addition to allowing users to get paid for data sharing, we extend our mathematical framework to when users provide explicit intent.

Knowledge Graph



Sign up or login to leave a comment