The debate on companies becoming too big and powerful is not a new one. However, I think we are focusing on the wrong question.
For years, we have been comfortable giving up our personal data in exchange for the right to communicate with our friends and family, or access online services and content. What we did not know, though, is how much of our data was being captured and monetised. As we have seen recently, many companies that took our data did not know what was happening either. That is a huge crisis of confidence.
What we really need is a unified framework in place that safeguards consumer data. This should address three key aspects: transparency, accountability, and empowerment.
Companies need to be transparent about how they use and manage data. That is because data often moves fluidly, not just within an organisation, but across companies and third parties. This is where accountability comes in. Regulators need to ensure that companies not only protect consumer data from any hacks, but also use it ethically. Finally, all stakeholders should work towards empowering individuals to have a say on the use of their data for meaningful transactions and experiences that are consistent with their expectations.