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fake markets → 

Posted on 23 March 2017

Anil Dash has a lengthy and very worthwhile post about new technologies and how they are using the illusion of free markets to create monopolies. For example:

“But unlike competitive sellers on eBay, Uber drivers can’t set their prices. In fact, prices can be (and regularly have been) changed unilaterally by Uber. And passengers can’t make informed choices about selecting a driver: The algorithm by which a passenger and driver are matched is opaque—to both the passenger and driver. In fact, as Data & Society’s research has shown, Uber has at times deliberately misrepresented the market of available cars by showing “ghost” cars to users in the Uber app.”

There’s a lot more ending with a key question:

“Look at the apps on your phone right now. Are you sure you are comfortable with what’s going to happen when everyone’s running the same apps that you are?”

I read this post a month ago and find myself thinking about it almost every day.

Filed under: technology

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