The “Advertising Platform” stands front and center in the minds of most individuals because of its ability to “mine” the data of the users without compensation and to monetize that information in the form of selling access for marketing purposes, sale of goods or services, and the ability to influence decisions in the social and political arenas. At the present time, that business model for the platforms such as Facebook, and the abuse of the information in areas such as politics are close coupled in that the ability to curtail the misuse potentially impacts on both the bottom line and the value of the platform itself as an investment.
With the increasing capabilities of artificial intelligence and the increasing size of the database, there is discussion around the possibilities that selectively extracting and analyzing may not curb the abuse. The issues here have yet to be fully plumbed from a number of social/cultural, legal and application perspectives. What remains problematic, as noted previously, is that such accumulation of data from a variety of sources, including the increasing ability to “infer” connections, currently, can increase the complexity of the issues now on the table.
These issues bleed into the other types of platforms perhaps of greater interest to industrial, commercial and government sectors. Product platforms focus on the consumer and business sectors. Originally, they were used to market goods if we think Amazon, which started with books. Amazon then expanded as a platform for marketing “store fronts” for almost all commodities and services to those on advertising platforms. Alibaba, a China based product platform has a major focus on commercial/industrial products and services. It is clear that these platforms also are able to extract user data from those who visit these sites in a manner similar to the advertising platforms with potentially similar consequences.Continue reading