The "Sharing" Economy: Issues Facing Platforms, Participants, and Regulators A Federal Trade Commission Workshop
Two major points: (1) Most of the "sharing economy" services are simply coordinators, dispatchers and federal agents. They themselves should not need too much legal scrutiny. However, the parties they coordinate are often regulated. Example: Expedia connects passengers with licensed, insured, etc. airlines. No one's saying, "Let's go airplane sharing." Transportation apps like ZabCab, Uber, Lyft, etc. connect passengers with drivers for hire, period. The argument "We're not a taxi company, we're a technology company is fine." They can say they're a troop of improv performers. But the fact remains that the DRIVERS are transporting other human beings in exchange for compensation. And that profession is regulated, Rules must be applied evenly. The simple fact is that many of these services are simply replacing voice with data. If a company had an out of state and / or outsourced call center to coordinate things, they would not have any more or less regulation than they did with the coordination provided locally. Likewise, when it comes lodging, eating and many other things, rules were usually put in place as a result of something bad happening. Why should rules about safety be eliminated? They shouldn't. (2) With more and more people becoming one person companies, it is more important than ever for there to be minimum standards not only for basic wages, but healthcare, retirement security, etc.