For a long time, privacy violations have been gathering headlines. Politicians have responded with more strict regulations. But a lack of control over and transparency about the use of private data is not the only challenge we face in this digital world.
Communication and commerce have become digital. Because of this, the centralized platforms on which they take place have gained enormous power.
Companies like Uber and AirBNB are using online platforms to undercut competitors by avoiding regulation and leaving risks to their ‘contractors’, taking advantage of the personal data gathered by their platforms to monetize it even more. hotels.com, booking.com and other travel booking platforms are leveraging their market power to squeeze ever higher margins out of the hospitality market.
We don’t deny these services have also benefited consumers and market disruption is needed. But the (near) monopolies of these digital giants are themselves becoming more abusive than those they replaced ever could be, at a global scale. They are killing innovation in the process, buying all potential competitors to stay in control of the market.
In a similar way, Facebook, Tik Tak YouTube and other ‘social’ platforms are the communication, information and news channels for literally billions of people. In their pursuit of profits, they control and create narratives, push people towards more extreme views at a massive scale and facilitated genocide. Even attempts at interference with elections is becoming common place.
We are worried about the consequences of these trends. Governments have trouble pushing back, both due to a lack of knowledge, awareness and simply due to the sheer size and economic and political power of these platforms. Businesses similarly often don’t understand the risks until it is to late and consumers are simply left without a choice.
Our goal here is to facilitate and support the conversation by gathering resources and opinions of thought leaders here on this site. Let’s have a debate!