In the past decade, tech companies became ubiquitous not only in our daily lives but also in the global economy. By the beginning of the 2010’s the list of largest companies in the world as measured by market capitalisation was dominated by oil producing companies and financial services. In 2019 however, seven out of the ten largest companies in the world are tech companies. Along with rising economic power, their public image has shifted.
Digitization and the ‘sharing economy’ once went hand in hand, promising a new and better society. Inspired by San Francisco’s hippie culture, the entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley portrayed an image of do-gooders. But how did we get from the cozy sharing platforms of the early days of the internet to the imposing and omni-present corporate platforms of today? We show that they are a logical result of the forces at work in the platform economy. And these same forces lead these tech companies into the financial sector in search for (personal) financial data.Lees verder →