Data Cartels: The Companies That Control and Monopolize Our Information

Stanford Univ. Nov. 2022. 224p. ISBN 9781503633711. pap. $26. LAW
In 2017, Lamdan (law, CUNY) discovered that LexisNexis and Thompson Reuters were assisting ICE in their surveillance program, which she believed to be inappropriate. When she researched data analytics, she learned that RLEX and Thompson Reuters hold the academic world hostage through their ability to control journals, prices, and contracts. In the legal world, Westlaw and LexisNexis have that same ability. Five major corporations own most of the U.S. news stations as a result of the Communication Act of 1996. The author argues that these entities comprise a cartel that controls the flow of information. A former law librarian, she firmly believes in the unhindered flow of information. Lamdan points out why these companies are getting away with their tactics, including perhaps the biggest reasons: the U.S. government refuses to set regulations, and the data cartel has powerful lobbyists, making most attempts to incorporate regulations futile. The author offers possible solutions, but with the current political climate, there is little chance of change.
VERDICT Lamdan’s research is solid. Her book would be a nice addition to both large academic and legal libraries.
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