Should We Treat Data as Labor? Moving beyond "Free"
- (pp. 38-42)
AbstractIn the digital economy, user data is typically treated as capital created by corporations observing willing individuals. This neglects users' roles in creating data, reducing incentives for users, distributing the gains from the data economy unequally, and stoking fears of automation. Instead, treating data (at least partially) as labor could help resolve these issues and restore a functioning market for user contributions, but may run against the near-term interests of dominant data monopsonists who have benefited from data being treated as "free." Countervailing power, in the form of competition, a data labor movement, and/or thoughtful regulation could help restore balance.
Citation2018. "Should We Treat Data as Labor? Moving beyond "Free"." AEA Papers and Proceedings, 108 : 38-42. DOI: 10.1257/pandp.20181003
- C80 Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs: General
- D63 Equity, Justice, Inequality, and Other Normative Criteria and Measurement
- J42 Monopsony; Segmented Labor Markets