Data is everywhere in the online world, be it as a means of exchange for services, an input for customisation or machine learning, or as variables that feed into matching algorithms. Data has gained increasing attention from academics and policymakers. Instances of data misuse—such as the Cambridge Analytica case in early 2018—brought to the public’s attention the scale of the data collected about the everyday lives of consumers and how it can be misused.
An increasing number of businesses rely on data to add value by matching consumers and suppliers, generating revenues through targeted advertising, or by automating and refining processes through machine learning. This combination of data and technology has enabled innovation in goods and services while providing increased choice and lower prices for consumers.
In response to the European Commission’s call for contributions to its one-day conference, Shaping competition policy in the era of digitisation, we explore the impact of consumer data on online services, and how the use of that data can affect competition.