Doorn, N.V., & Badger, A. (2020). Platform Capitalism’s Hidden Abode: Producing Data Assets in the Gig Economy.

In this article, we argue that the governance of gig work under conditions of financialised platform capitalism is characterised by a process that we call “dual value production”: the monetary value produced by the service provided is augmented by the use and speculative value of the data produced before, during, and after service provision. App-governed gig workers hence function as pivotal conduits in software systems that produce digital data as a particular asset class. We reflect on the production of data assets and the unequal distribution of opportunities for their valorisation, after which we survey a number of strategies seeking data-centric worker empowerment. These strategies, we argue, are crucial attempts to push back against platform capitalism’s domination, bankrolled by what we term “meta-platforms”. Ultimately, it is the massive wealth and synergetic capacities of meta-platforms that constitute the most formidable obstacle to worker power and social justice in increasingly data-driven societies. [Read More]