The Internet, Policy & Politics Conferences

Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

Aurelien Faravelon, Stephane Grumbach: Platforms as Governments

Aurélien Faravelon, INRIA & ENS Lyon

Stéphane Grumbach, INRIA & ENS Lyon

In the last decades, platforms, a new sort of actors have emerged. They act mostly in the digital sphere, ensuring intermediation on twosided markets, matching producers and consumers of goods or services. The technology to harvest, store and process continuous flows of data has given rise to new services which reach individuals, and change fundamental aspects of their life. Acting remotely from territories, these services have become so essential that they challenge legacy corporations as well as governments, while contributing to redefine both social norms and legal rules. Adapting to digital technologies has become a necessity for all institutions, private companies as well as public administrations and governments. In this paper, we show how governments are being upgraded with systems inspired from digital platforms, to better serve their citizens, increasing not only efficiently, but also transparency. Digital platforms on the other hand, because they popularise new norms worldwide, are increasingly involved in governing. The digital sphere has changed irreversibly the art of government. We consider various scenarios to analyse the future of the tensions between platforms and governments.

Keywords: digital platforms, intermediation, laws and norms, government

Aurélien Faravelon, Stéphane Grumbach