15 August 2016

Cyber Serfs

Letter to the Financial Times,
Sir, The $68bn market valuation of Uber (“Uber recruits hitch ride on lending schemes”, August 12) can only be based on a cynical assumption that the company will be allowed to expand its drove of cyber serfs. It is nothing less than 21st century share cropping that preys on the gullible, the ignorant or the desperate. An economic model that is based on workers providing the capital for their own tools and bearing the risk of individual business failure while delivering profits to the owners of an algorithm is as sure a method of returning income distribution to the feudal age as anyone could devise.

Guy Wroble
Denver, CO, US
This is relevant because the business model is expanding. It includes Airbnb and Deliveroo. Those of us concerned with living an ethical life need to think hard about whether we ought to be using these services.

For myself it seems clear that I could not use these services with a clear conscience and will be avoiding them.

(h/t @AnnPettifor)

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