As a handful of data platforms generate massive amounts of user data, the barriers to entry rise since potential competitors have little data themselves to entice advertisers compared to the incumbents who have both the concentrated processing power and supply of user data to dominate particular sectors. The upshot of this market power by big data platforms is that the marketplace is doing little to create options for consumers that might alleviate the misuse of consumer data or encourage big data platforms to better compensate users who are willing to share their data.
Data Justice has been launched as a project to promote public education and new alliances to challenge the danger of big data to workers, consumers and the public. Our work will include:
- A Focus on Financial Exploitation: Data Justice will educate key stakeholders, allies, and the public on approaches to prevent big data platforms from using that data in ways that harm consumers. We will highlight the way big data platforms facilitate the exploitation of employees, consumers and citizens by abusive financial services companies and thereby increase economic discrimination and inequality in the economy.
- Outreach to Allies: We will work to expand the coalition of organizations focused on the problem of big data platforms by bringing in the consumer, civil rights, union and other organizations currently mobilized around financial reform in the wake of the recent financial crisis. Data Justice will work with a range of organizations to highlight the problem of big data platforms and how a focus on their role in promoting economic exploitation in financial services fits within those groups' current work.
- Public Education Campaign: Data Justice is engaged in a broad public education campaign, including developing a public website, social media campaign, public policy documents and placing individual articles, blog posts and other media pieces to support the effort. Our goal is focus media and public attention on the issue of online price discrimination and the power of big data platforms, as well as the way concentrated control of user data feeds increasing economic inequality in the economy.
- Develop Policy Research: On an ongoing basis, Data Justice will produce policy reports, articles and policy briefs that outline how big data impacts different sectors of consumer and workers rights and policy options for reducing those harms to the public.
- Educate Government Officials and Other Targets of Campaign: We will work to educate key members of government agencies, elected officials and other non-government institutions about what we see as the danger of data platforms' impact on economic justice issues and why regulation is warranted.
We hope you will follow our work in the months to come!