Vote with their feet — Ostrom and data interoperability

In the data market we have lost the essential freedom of voting with our feet. What to do next? Fractal´s Chief Economist Aurel Stenzel talks about it.

“Vote with their feet” or Foot Voting is a concept that got picked up by different scholars throughout the last century. Personal preferences play an important role in economics. When preferences are expressed by their actions, people vote with their feet. For example, if they withdraw from an action or leave a certain group etc. It assumes that if you disagree with a certain condition you can move to a different state (which can be a physical move or also just a switch of service providers). For example, if you highly value your data privacy and disagree with how Facebook treats your data, you would delete your account and not further use their service.

Foot Voting in the platform economy

Let us take this concept and transport it into today’s digital world. Do we have the possibility to vote with our feet? Can we choose the digital platform which we want to use? Probably not.

Data interoperability as a crucial step

What do we need in order to enable Foot Voting in the digital world, in order to move beyond platforms? We need decentralised data ownership (with corresponding governance) and interoperability. Based on a EU regulation definition, interoperability describes the ability of two or more services

  • to communicate with each other and / or
  • to work together as intended.

About Fractal Protocol

Built on Polkadot, Fractal Protocol is an open-source, zero-margin protocol that defines a basic standard to exchange user information in a fair and open way, ensuring a high-quality version of the free internet. In its first version, it is designed to replace the ad cookie and give users back control over their data.

Fractal is an open source zero-margin protocol that defines a basic standard to exchange user information in a fair and open way.