Freeing Information To Stop Big Tech, Revive Innovation, and Empower Society
Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Thomas Ramge
University of California Press
How do we legitimize – and limit – the power of knowledge?
Control over information in a data-driven world is shifting in favor of those who generate, store and analyse information flows on their digital platforms. This isn’t a new issue – since the days of Benjamin Franklin, information power has been turned upside down. But today, data colonialists in America and Asia rule the rest of the world.
To counter the power imbalances that are increasing as a result of these power shifts, we have to prise open access to data, information and knowledge. We need much more broadly-based access to data to advance scientific, social and economic progress in the service of sustainable development. Concentration of information power is good for a few, but bad for innovation, cooperation, and for each and every one of us.
In Access Rules, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger and Thomas Ramge offer a clear, concise and compelling response, arguing that if we disrupt the monopoly power of superstar companies with open access to data, and create a level playing field, digital innovations can emerge to the benefit all. When everyone has access to the informational riches of the data age, the nature of digital power machines will change. Information technology will find its way back to its original purpose: empowering all of us to use information so we can thrive as individuals and as societies.