Does commerce have to be dis-empowering?
Commerce is a core fabric of any society. As such is it not question of commerce or not - but how we utility digital support to improve commerce.
And the potiential for economics growth through improving the commecial processes are almost endless - the potential for mass-producing individual solutions that can even upgrade post-sales & re-cycling hold huge promisses for less and more sustainable ressources provding more and better customised Value.
The potential is so big that we even need to question traditional market theory of diminishing returns or at least throwing everything up in the air in another Schumpetarian cycle. Keynesian equilibrium theory provide no insight to this.
However - and this is a huge however - business focus is on profilling customers through almost any means focussing on sales-push.
The need for sales and advertisement is fine, but this goes beynd that into cross-purpose abuse of personal data, technical lock-in, preventing competion etc.
Here lies the caveat - the identified consumer is a transparant consumer and as such a dis-empowered consumer.
When identified, the citizen loose control of out-of-context use of data in future actions and when recognized across context the abuse of out-of-context historic data.
Who say that it should even be possible to identify/recognise a customer as part of a trade? Each channel have its challanges - Digital Cash in payments, drop-boxes in delivery. ore complex key management etc. But we could "easily" make digital cash purchases and even pseudonymous trade accountable.
Companies tend to overlook that there is always a bigger fish trying to intermediate corporate customers to to tap into profits of market making.
What is assumably better "sales" is actually diminishing profits through focus on re-aquiring the same customers instead of focus on creating value & building customer loyalty.
Presently we are witnessing a massive concentration of market power in winner-takes-it-all walled gardens and market making based on abuse of personal data.
If digital trade can only occur through a commercial infrastructure that intermediate customer relationships, then perhaps we should consider digitalizing commerce a problem instead of solution? A kind of chinese wall or insider trade violation?
Perhaps we should look at it the other way around - preventing intermediation through empowering purpose specific identity would enable reuse of customer data and sharing with service providers as data cannot be abused to steal the customer or secondarily abused as part of behavoural profiling.
At least we should make empowering Identity (one trade one end-to-end identity without identifying towards commercial infrastructure) a right for both corporates and consumers.
In other words infrastructure channel MUST be open and not mandatory require identification of people or devices.
How can Single Market thinking consider/accept dis-empowering citizens and companies through an invasive infrastructure?