WS 1: Platform and data neutrality – Access to content

Ana Maria Corrêa

  • The debate around Internet neutrality should go beyond Internet service providers, considering that different bias by online platforms can also lead to discriminatory treatment of their users. The lack of platform neutrality is particularly alarming, due to their worldwide reach and dominance.
  • Private companies need to have a minimum standard of fairness. Some in house principles could be implemented to reach platform neutrality: (1) to put the users first (main force drive), (2) inclusivity.
  • There is a divergence on whether platforms should disclose their algorithms. On the one hand, their goal is to optimise user experience. Why should companies disclose algorithms if they are protected by intellectual properties rights and if they allow platforms to improve users’ experience? On the other hand, when private companies have so much importance and affect so many actors, they should have some sort of accountability vis-à-vis our society. The responsibility of private companies has existed for a long time and could be used as a model to reflect the limits between public interests and commercial ones.
  • Monopoly and transparency are concepts that impact platform neutrality. Four of the first eight social media in the world belong to the same company. Because of that, platforms should not abuse their monopolistic position regarding neutrality. Further, more transparency would help to enforce competition law and allow people to make informed choices.

Source: https://comment.eurodig.org/eurodig-2018-messages/ws-1-platform-and-data-neutrality-access-to-content/