This EU Horizon 2020 Research Project: Ps2Share is concerned with questions of participation, privacy, and power in the sharing economy. With funding granted by the European Commission's Horizon 2020 Growth Strategy, this one-year research project will be conducted by a consortium of international researchers from Norway, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, and Switzerland.
The emergence of innovative platforms has extended the notion of online sharing to the vibrant new domain of sharing of material goods and services. We call this phenomenon 'the sharing economy'. With companies such as Airbnb, Uber, Taskrabbit, and Transferwise dominating the market, user numbers of sharing services have skyrocketed and expect to grow further, enabling ever new avenues of economic and social interaction to appear.
The sharing economy promises to provide more inclusive business opportunities for individuals of various skills levels and resource endowment. However, the public rhetoric of chances, growth, and inclusion frequently contrasts with the risks, concerns, disadvantages, and exclusion in the experience of a variety of users. These platforms, extending into the private and physical realm of their users, create compound privacy risks and increase the potential for exclusion and discrimination through ratings-based sanctioning. In facing the ongoing growth of the sharing economy, we are presented with a variety of challenges which need to be addressed.
With our research, we hope to facilitate public deliberation on desirable practices and policies. Our overarching objective is to identify key challenges of the sharing economy and improve Europe’s digital services through providing recommendations to Europe’s institutions. These will include schools and companies, as well as governmental and non-governmental organisations.
In constructing policy, we aim to provide steps toward more modern regulatory and policymaking approaches, helping to create a more balanced digitized economy that is socially acceptable to all. We aim to foster better awareness of the consequences which technologies, networks, and new digital media have on the way people behave, think, interact, and socialise as persons, citizens, workers, and consumers across Europe.