The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
The sharing economy is the future of human consumption. As our population grows, this earth cannot sustain every human possessing everything he/she will consume. Instead, when humans can share resources in an equitable way, we make best use of the limited resources available. While most sharing economies are meant to be self-regulated via peer reviews, concerns of privacy as well as the presence of possible "bad players" require governmental intervention. Since sharing economies have so far been created by private entities, the onus of privacy is on their shoulders. However, since privacy is a right of each citizen enforceable by the government, it should be the FTC's job to ensure each private entity upholds this privacy. Finally, since sharing economies are based primarily on the goodwill of each individual player, it is again up to the entity setting up sharing ecosystem to punish poor behavior. In many cases this is akin to ensuring the safety of each player. But since the safety of citizens is enforced by the government, the FTC should play a role in ensuring the private entities maintain a base level of safety for all its players.