Effect of data privacy and security investment on the value of big data firms

Yueyue Zhang, Cheng Zhang, Yunjie Xu

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The use of big data analytics (BDA) and related technologies by firms can raise concerns regarding data privacy and security (DPS). In this study, with stock return and risk as indicators of firm performance, we investigate how DPS investment affects the financial performance of BDA firms (firms with BDA investment) and non-BDA firms (firms without BDA investment). We use a difference-in-differences approach and apply the propensity score matching to 1400 DPS announcements made by 228 US firms whose stocks are publicly traded on US stock markets from 2004 to 2018. The main findings are as follows: (1) On average, DPS investment significantly reduces firms' systematic risk. (2) The risk reduction effects are greater for non-BDA firms than for BDA firms. Our results indicate that DPS investment reduces firm risk and that the business value of specific information technology (IT) investment (e.g., DPS) is influenced by firms' other IT assets (e.g., BDA). The present findings advance the literature on the business value of IT and firms' IT portfolio management in digitized business environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113543
JournalDecision Support Systems
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Big data
  • Data Privacy
  • Data Security
  • Event study
  • IT investment
  • IT risk

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Information Systems
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Information Systems and Management


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