Neo-commodification of persons: exploitation of personal data and impact on the sharing economy

Vogel, Yannick Alexander (2023) Neo-commodification of persons: exploitation of personal data and impact on the sharing economy, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Law, science and technology, 35 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10669.
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The notion of commodification is a fascinating one. It entails many facets, ranging from subjective debates on desirability of commodification to in depth economic analyses of objects of value and their corresponding markets. Commodity theory is therefore not just defined by a single debate, but spans a plethora of different discussions. This thesis maps and situates those theories and debates and selects one specific strain to investigate further. This thesis argues that commodity theory in its optima forma deals with the investigation into what sets commodities apart from non-commodities. It proceeds to examine the many given answers to this question by scholars ranging from the mid 1800’s to the late 2000’s. Ultimately, commodification is defined as a process in which an object becomes an element of the total wealth of societies in which the capitalist mode of production prevails. In doing so, objects must meet observables, or indicia, of commodification provided by commodity theories. Problems arise when objects are clearly part of the total wealth in societies without meeting established commodity indicia. In such cases, objects are part of the total wealth of a society without counting as a commodity. This thesis examines this phenomenon in relation to the novel commodities of audiences and data. It explains how these non-commodities (according to classical theories) are still essential elements of industry. The thesis then takes a deep dive into commodity theory using the theory on the construction of social reality by John Searle.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Vogel, Yannick Alexander
Dottorato di ricerca
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
Commodity, Commodification, Data, Privacy, Personal Data
Data di discussione
29 Marzo 2023

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