Let’s make private data into a public good

“The so-called sharing economy is based on the same idea. Instead of interacting with some kind of institution (like a travel agency), customers interact with each other. The role of a company, then, is not to provide the service but to connect sellers (like someone who owns a car and is willing to drive it) with buyers (someone who needs a ride). These so-called platforms are presented as a radical transformation in the way goods and services are produced, shared, and delivered. But they’re also an easy way for companies to avoid responsibility. When disabled users complain to Uber that their drivers refuse to put wheelchairs in the trunk, Uber says, well, we’re not a taxi company, we’re just a platform. Airbnb is similarly reluctant to take responsibility for the safety of the premises offered on its site, or for racial discrimination against renters by property owners. After all, Airbnb didn’t build the apartments and doesn’t own them—it’s just a platform.”

Let’s make private data into a public good
https://www.technologyreview.com/s/611489/lets-make-private-data-into-a-public-good/
via Instapaper