Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Big data justice: a case for regulating the global information commons

Spiekermann, Kai ORCID: 0000-0003-4983-5589, Slavny, Adam, Axelsen, David V. and Lawford-Smith, Holly (2020) Big data justice: a case for regulating the global information commons. Journal of Politics. pp. 1-38. ISSN 0022-3816

[img] Text (Big data justice) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.

Download (973kB)

Identification Number: 10.1086/709862


The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) challenges political theorists to think about data ownership and policymakers to regulate the collection and use of public data. AI producers benefit from free public data for training their systems while retaining the profits. We argue against the view that the use of public data must be free. The proponents of unconstrained use point out that consuming data does not diminish its quality and that information is in am- ple supply. Therefore, they suggest, publicly available data should be free. We present two objections. First, allowing free data use promotes unwanted inequality. Second, contributors of information did not and could not anticipate that their contribution would be used to train AI systems. Our argument implies that managing the ‘global information commons’ and charging for extensive data use is permissible and desirable. We discuss policy implications and propose a progressive data use tax to counter the inequality arising.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Southern Political Science Association
Divisions: Government
Subjects: J Political Science > JF Political institutions (General)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2019 08:57
Last Modified: 11 Jul 2024 23:36

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics