Former presidential candidate, Andrew Yang may have dropped out of the race, but he has not stopped fighting for what he spoke about during the race. Two major pillars of his platform was universal basic income, and data-as-property. He is now working on a new project that would force big tech companies like Google, Facebook and others to pay its users for data. Something that these companies currently get for free.
It's being called the Data Dividend Project, and it's a new program that is tasked with establishing a data-as-property rights under privacy laws. Similar to the California Consumer Privacy Act (or CCPA), but all across the US. According to Yang, he wants the program to mobilize over a million people by the end of 2020. And it will focus on Californians primarily to "pave the way for a future in which all Americans can claim their data as a property right and receive payment."
Yang wants to show that this idea is popular with voters
While the CCPA went into effect in the beginning of 2020, it doesn't actually give users money for giving companies its data. It gives them the right to delete and opt out of the sale of their personal data. However, with the Data Dividend Project, Yang wants to show that this idea is popular with voters.
In an interview with The Verge, Yang said that "we are completely outgunned by tech companies, We're just presented with these terms and conditions. No one ever reads them. You just click on them and hope for the best. And unfortunately, the best has not happened."
This isn't a democrat issue either, as Senator John Kennedy, a Republican from Louisiana, has brought up legislation int he past that would grant people property rights over their data that is generated online. However, all measures of this have failed to gain momentum in Congress. Some in Congress feel that data ownership is the wrong approach. When talking about protecting user privacy online. And would only incentivize users to sell away their privacy instead of protecting it.
Imagine getting paid for doing the same thing you're doing now
Imagine, getting paid to continue using Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter and these other platforms. The same exact thing that you are doing now.
This would actually help out these platforms. As users will see that they are getting paid $20 to give out some information, and they'll tell their friends. Which leads to more people giving up this information. However, like some in Congress have expressed. This could have the opposite effect of protecting user data.