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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter May 11, 2019

Trading on the Unknown: Scenarios for the Future Value of Data

Gemma Newlands , Christoph Lutz and Christian Fieseler EMAIL logo


In this Article, we explore the practices of extensive data collection among sharing economy platforms, highlighting how the unknown future value of big data creates an ethical problem for a fair exchange relationship between companies and users. Specifically, we present a typology with four scenarios related to the future value of data. In the remainder of the Article, we first describe the status quo of data collection practices in the sharing economy, followed by a discussion of the value-generating affordances of big data. We then introduce the typology of four scenarios for the future value of data. Finally, the paper concludes with a short discussion on the implications of information asymmetries for a fair exchange process.


We would like to thank the European Commission for generous funding within the Horizon 2020 project “Ps2Share: Participation, Privacy and Power in the Sharing Economy” (grant number 732117). We would also like to thank the Research Council of Norway for generous funding within the projects “Fair Labor in the Digitized Economy” (grant number 247725) and “Future Ways of Working in the Digital Economy” (grant number 275347).

Published Online: 2019-05-11
Published in Print: 2019-05-27

© 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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