Personal data constitute now a fundamental resource of the economy much like raw materials. The industry that harvests and transforms personal data grows at unprecedented pace. It offers amazing services, which attract users in the hundreds of millions. It generates ecosystems, which become as essential as public utilities and support millions of developers. It also challenges societies obsoleting fundamental aspects of their organisation, and generating new imbalances at global scale. At the centre of the Internet, are the intermediation platforms (e.g. Google, Facebook), which concentrate most of the personal data harvested online in the world and provide most of the services. These platforms are revolutionising the world. They go beyond traditional multinational, with an increasing set of prerogatives, virtual territories, management of identity, legal frameworks, etc. Our objective is to study the impact on our societies at all levels, social, economic, political, as well as diplomatic, of these new systems of the digital age. We will focus in particular on issues related to the concentration of data, the symmetry of information, and the subsidiarity of computation. Our contributions target both technical and theoretical aspects of the economy of social data.

The aim of this blog is to publish research results and analysis targeting the scientific community, the developers, the political leaders, as well as a broader audience.

Stéphane Frénot and Stéphane Grumbach

Dice Team @ Inria


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