All-seeing giants and blindfolded dwarfs: On information-asymmetries on data-driven markets

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Abstract

The objective of this chapter is to contribute to the understanding of the growth of this global data-driven market ecology, mainly in order to pinpoint important regulatory challenges, where individual choice and agency, as well as competition, seem undermined. Truly, this development holds many promises for new innovation, some more disruptive than others, but also poses challenges that in this chapter is discussed in terms of lack of transparency on the data’s destination and how it is used. As more types of industries develop their own sophisticated uses of personal data, the collaboration between multiple parties by necessity develops. This does however contribute to the lack of insight for individuals and authorities, but also risks skewing the markets to the favour of those in control of distribution platforms and search engines. The challenge then regards how to deal with data-driven dominance and gatekeeping, i.e., the notion of antitrust in relation to digital-markets.

The chapter focuses on: (1.) the “ecosystem” of global data-driven markets and the lack of incentives for data collectors to be more transparent; in order to analyse (2.) the extent to which the information asymmetry brings monopolistic tendencies and a power asymmetry between data-collecting and data-utilising platforms, on the one hand, and individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), on the other, and to (3.) suggest counter-measures to problems arising from this asymmetry. For the sake of expressing the related points, I mainly use the EU commission as the regulatory entity at play.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Economic Models: Tools for Political Decision Makers Dealing with the Changing European Economies
Place of PublicationBelgium: Brussels
PublisherEuropean Liberal Forum asbl.
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Nov 28

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Information Systems, Social aspects

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