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The use and abuse of data by Facebook and other tech companies are finally garnering the official attention they deserve. With personal data becoming the world's most valuable commodity, will users be the platform economy's masters or its slaves? Prospects for democratizing the platform economy remain dim. With big data and algorithms, tech companies have both accelerated and inverted this process.To be sure, it is predictable that sectors with high network externalities, where the benefits to individual users increase as a function of the total number of users, will produce large companies.Government platforms now have enormous potential to improve the efficiency of the public sector and to democratize the platform economy.Of course, some will argue that regulating the platform economy will impede market-driven value creation.
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