Parasitic symbiosis as digital platform strategy
Speaker: Kai Riemer, Stefan Klein
Abstract: A utopian view of digital business suggests that institutions engage with their users in symbiotic processes of social value creation. The users get access to digital platforms and services, while the platform providers engage in behavioural monitoring of the users and the appropriation of their data. They justify the data collection as beneficial to the users, who get access to improved and customized services.
However, most platform providers conveniently leave out details about the extent of data collection, the effective acquisition of (unlimited) usage rights of the users’ digital traces and digital profiles, which drives monetization of user data in targeted and predictive advertising, secondary data analysis of accumulated data set, which feed various analytics operations and businesses.
Based on the analysis and illustration of the pattern and practices of the data-driven strategies of two digital platforms we will argue that these practices, which the platforms claim to be symbiotic, are in fact evidence of parasitic symbiosis.
Short Bio: Kai is Professor of Information Technology and Organisation and Head of the Discipline of Business Information. He joined the University of Sydney in August 2009 from Münster University in Germany.
Kai's expertise and research interests cover the areas of Disruptive Innovation, Technology Appropriation, Digital Humans, Digital Work Practices, Futures Studies, Social Networking, and the Philosophy of Technology. Kai’s research follows practice theoretical and non-orthodox approaches and appears in the leading IS journals.
Kai speaks and consult on issues around Digital Disruption, The Future or Business, and Social Media. Kai co-hosts The Future, This Week, Australia’s leading podcast on the future of business and technology, and most recently, The Unlearn Project, the podcast about changing common sense.
Stefan is Professor of Interorganizational Systems at the Department of IS, School of Business and Economics, University of Muenster.