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The digital economy refers to the social, market, cultural, legal and political shifts caused by the widespread use and adoption of the Internet and digital tools.

Most human and social activities nowadays are influenced by digital technology, as people are using connected devices (smart phones, tablets, etc.) and are interacting on a massive scale through these devices. Social media, sharing practices, contributive platforms and mobility-related usage in particular plays an increasingly larger role in shaping services, content distribution and development and, finally, organising the day-to-day activities for individuals and organisations. The new requirements and services generated by these new developments and opportunities are, in many respects, sources of personal and economic growth, employment and social well-being.

However, a creative destruction model is in place and these positive changes are influenced by negative developments, such as disappearing activities, cultural deprivation, technological unemployment, etc. Yet, compared to previous industrial revolutions, the digital economy has violated individual well-being in renewed forms, such as undermining privacy and individual autonomy, precarious social conditions and relationships in working life, controlling access to culture and diverse information that may affect the formation of cultural preferences, political opinions or freedom of expression.

The focus of “Economic Models” is specifically intended to shed light on these new destructive risks for digital humanism, whether real or imaginary:

  • The commercial exploitation of personal data and the issue of privacy;
  • The “uberisation” process, collaborative platforms and working conditions;
  • The economic models for digital platform operators and Internet neutrality, cultural diversity and information pluralism.