Despite the efforts of regulatory bodies and the private sector, effective protection of personal data through legislation and business self-regulation efforts remains elusive. Privacy legislation is difficult because the flow of data is difficult to predict. Businesses tend to be ineffective at data protection because, generally, they misunderstand the value of the data they possess. Businesses, therefore, do not invest enough in protecting the undervalued asset and data are not managed to reflect their importance to organizations, individuals, and markets. This paper presents the argument that to understand data properly and to improve privacy protection, data must be valued. The paper also elaborates on major impediments to the valuation of data, as well as advantages of overcoming these impediments. In light of the paucity of both privacy and data valuation studies by accounting scholars, the paper also identifies opportunities for research.

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