Interactive Workshop: Do We Need Platform Regulation

Ramak Molavi, iRights Law
The subject of the workshop held by Ramak Molavi was the use and regulation of platforms. She spoke of how the use of platforms may be beneficial to businesses and customers alike at the same time as it may imply downsides for both parties. Platforms provide businesses with an efficient tool for reaching new audiences and it allows user feedback to be integrated as a service. The customer benefits from the use of platforms by easy access to a wide range of services supplied supported by trusted payment processes. One discussion that arose focused on the question of whether or not there is a disproportionate exchange between the amount of big data gathered by the platforms on the one hand, and the services provided by the platform to the customers on the other. Ms. Molavi was of the opinion that the customers stand on the losing side of the transaction and that the amount of data gathered by the platforms exceeds the value of the services provided – a view which was not shared by parts of the audience.
Although the use of platforms may, in some ways, result in downsides for businesses and customers alike, as in one-sided terms and conditions which are seldom read by the customers and how businesses are dependent on the enforcement of the platforms, Ramak Molavi does not support the way legislators try to solve the problem and according to her, the GDPR is already obsolete. Due to the rapid advancement in technology and the time it takes for regulations to enter into force, it will be impossible for regulators to be aligned with the technological development. Hence, legislators should focus on constructing more technically neutral regulations.