The digital technology revolution, coupled with advances of the sharing economy, has led to impressive growth. For example, two European carpooling services, Carpooling and BlaBlaCar, have created the equivalent of a national rail network (in terms of passenger volume) without a dollar of new infrastructure.

And it is this kind of growth–and the associated consumer benefits–that have resulted in consumers transferring the responsibility of regulation to these private platforms. Whether it’s copyright management of music turned over to Apple, privacy and data mining for advertising over to Google, or ownership of written works to Amazon, it has been this combination of convenience and trust that has moved regulation away from the government.

Professor Arun Sundararajan implores consumers to think carefully about the implications of doing so, rather than allowing it simply as a byproduct of advances in digital technology.

Arun Sundararajan is Professor and NEC Faculty Fellow at New York University's Leonard N. Stern School of Business. He also heads the Social Cities Initiative at NYU's Center for Urban Science+Progress, and is an affiliated faculty member at NYU's Center for Data Science. Professor Sundararajan's research program studies how digital technologies transform business and society. Some of his current and recent research focuses on the ... View Profile