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Ethics for a Digital Age, Vol. II

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Edited By Bastiaan Vanacker and Don Heider

The second volume of Ethics for a Digital Age contains a selection of research presented at the fifth and sixth Annual International Symposia on Digital Ethics hosted by the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago’s School of Communication. Thematically organized around the most pressing ethical issues of the digital age from a professional (parts one and two) and a philosophical perspective (part three), the chapters of this volume offer the reader a window into some of the hot-button ethical issues facing a society where digital has become the new normal. Just as was the case in the first volume, this collection attempts to bridge applied and theoretical approaches to digital ethics. The case studies in this work are grounded in theory and the theoretical pieces are linked back to specific cases, reflecting the multi-methodological and multi-disciplinarian approach espoused by Loyola’s Center of Digital Ethics and Policy during its eight years of existence. With contributions by experts from a variety of academic disciplines, this work will appeal to philosophers, communication scientists, and moral philosophers alike.

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2. The Intersection of Trust and Privacy in the Sharing Economy (Joseph W. Jerome / Bénédicte Dambrine)

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2.  The Intersection of Trust and Privacy in the Sharing Economy

JOSEPH W. JEROME AND BÉNÉDICTE DAMBRINE

Introduction

Peer-to-peer exchanges are not new, nor is the so-called sharing economy a new concept, even as its precise definition is open to debate. At its most basic, a sharing economy is an economic model based upon the exchange of human or physical resources between two individuals, where one person who needs a good or service can borrow, rent, or even buy it from another who has it (Botsman, 2013). This model lies at the heart of many long existing neighborhood co-op arrangements and community exchanges, but today’s sharing economy is increasingly fueled by online and mobile platforms. The use of technological intermediaries to facilitate peer-to-peer exchanges has allowed the sharing economy to grow to a size and scale otherwise unimaginable (Newcomer, “Uber Traveling…,” 2015).

The economic value of transactions within the global sharing economy surpassed $26 billion in 2013 and could generate as much as $110 billion annually in the near future (Cannon & Summers, 2014). Today’s sharing economy is the realization of earlier efforts to harness technology and online connectivity to alter and improve commercial interactions. Early “sharing” services like eBay and Craigslist emerged as an outlet for users to trade or discard their many unwanted items, using technology to help reduce transaction costs. At eBay, for example, crowdsourcing reputational information reduced the risks of...

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