Online platforms are a critical element of the digital economy, revolutionizing access to information and playing a vital role in creating or energizing markets, innovating services and increasing both consumer choice and industry competitiveness. Online platforms such as advertising sites, marketplaces, search engines, social media, payment systems and communication services facilitate interaction between businesses, consumers and even administrations in our digital society. But issues arise over how user data is collected and made use of, as well as the fairness of B2B relations between online platforms and their suppliers, and the role of platforms in tackling illegal content online. What policy responses are necessary or practical to ensure a level playing field for comparable digital services? How can governments and regulators protect customers and secure their personal data? What can be done to encourage open, innovative, data-driven markets whilst at the same time fostering trust and transparency in the use of online platforms?
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