Digital platforms are not only market intermediaries between different groups of platform users. They are also providers of governance mechanisms that are essential for the functioning of digital markets. Moreover, public regulators are increasingly relying on platforms as regulatory intermediaries, drawing on their superior operational capacities, data pools and direct access to platform users. A future EU regulatory policy for the platform economy should consider these multiple roles of digital platforms. Considering the rapid pace of technological innovation and the variety of different business models, the regulatory framework should be flexible enough to adapt to technological and economic developments. This chapter suggests a combination of principles-based legislation and ‘technolegal standards’ elaborated by European standard setting organisations involving all relevant stakeholders. A model for coregulation could be the ‘New Approach’, which has been tried and tested over many years in the field of product safety and which could be transferred to platform regulation.
Christoph Busch and Alberto De Franceschi
Against the background of the emerging debate about personalized law, this chapter explores how Big Data and algorithm-based regulation could fundamentally change the design and structure of legal norms: impersonal law based on typifications could be replaced by a more personalized law, based on ‘granular legal norms’. We argue that the use of legal typifications which is a hallmark of impersonal law can be conceptualized as the answer to an information problem, a concession to the imperfections of a legal system administered by humans. The emergence of super-human capacities of information-processing through artificial intelligence could make it possible to personalize the law and achieve a level of ‘granularity’ that has hitherto been unachieved. The chapter analyses the benefits of ‘granular legal norms’ as well as possible limitations and objections, in particular privacy concerns and the principle of equality.