Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang wants everyone to get paid when companies use their personal data.
Yang appeared on Digital Trends Live on Thursday to talk about the Data Dividend Project, which he recently founded to encourage people to take control of their online data.
“Let’s get people money for your data! It’s worth tens of billions of dollars, and we’re not seeing a dime…what’s up with that?” Yang told Digital Trends. “The project is about activating people’s data property rights so we can get a straight answer from the tech companies.”
Yang said the Data Dividend Project works in conjunction with the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), intended to enhance privacy rights and consumer protection. That law starts getting enforced next week, and there is a similar law in Nevada.
“If you sign up for the Data Dividend Project, we will activate your data rights in California and Nevada where they already have rules on the books, and if you’re not in one of those states, then we will go to your statehouse.”
Yang said the website also lets people know if any data breach claims would apply to them so they can receive compensation.
Almost all of the websites and apps we use collect some form of our data and Yang contends that everyone should have the right to know what people are doing with their data, as well as have the option to opt out of sharing their data.
Facebook already has an Off-Facebook Activity tool that allows people to see and control the data that other apps and websites share with Facebook. However, Yang said Facebook is a $650 billion company, and most of that comes from its users’ data. He said he believes we should all get a kickback since it is, after all, our data.
Since your personal data is worth a lot to companies like Facebook, Yang said that the project could get you a minimum of around $10 a month, but depending on who you are, it could go up to thousands of dollars per month. He said California residents could get their money in days or weeks if they sign up now.
Yang said that statehouses around the country are considering legislation similar to the CCPA, so more people could benefit from the Data Dividend Project in the future.
“Washington, D.C. is decades behind the curve on technology. It’s gone from being inconvenient to being disastrous over time. One of my big goals is to try and catch them up,” Yang said.
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