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COVID-19, Tech Firms, and the Case for Data Sharing

 |  July 30, 2020

By: Sara Nyman (World Bank)

It won’t have escaped anyone’s attention that some tech firms—especially big tech platforms—have played a prominent role in helping us weather the COVID-19 crisis. They have the capacity to generate, analyze, and disseminate data that is valuable in times of disruption. Indeed, big tech could be considered one of the few winners from the crisis, particularly those firms that offer e-commerce, social media, search, work solutions, and cloud services, which have benefited from shifts in consumption patterns toward online business.

But questions are being raised about the long-term implications of these recent developments. With the market position of some tech platforms being strengthened through the crisis, there may be consequences for competition and consumer protection.

So what are the risks that policymakers might need to mitigate to fully harness the benefits of the positive work done by data-driven tech platforms?