Today, the dominant data harvesters in the business are Google and Facebook, with Amazon, Apple and Microsoft some way behind. Their dominance cannot really be challenged: Could you think of a rival search engine? Could another social network replace the one all your friends are on? This dominance might matter less if companies had to pay for their users’ data.
Google and Facebook and Amazon would not be able to extend the network effects that cemented their place at the top of the technology ecosystem to the world of A.I. Everybody wants to be on Facebook because everybody’s friends are on Facebook. But this dominance could be eroded if rivals made direct offers of money for data.
Companies with different business models might join the fray. “This is an opportunity for other companies to enter and say look, we will pay you for this data,” Mr. Posner said. “All this is so new that ordinary people haven’t figured out how manipulated they are by these companies.”
Read more at The New York Times