When mankind began to exchange their data for free YouTube and Facebook about 15 years ago, this seemed like a fair deal. The users did not have to pay any money and could use the services of the social networks.
But is this deal still fair? How much data do Facebook, Google etc. collect from us at all? And what is the value of this data?
Do you expect your employer to pay you at the end of the month? If so, do you know how much they are entitled to?
Do you expect technology companies to pay you at the end of the month after you provide your data? If so, can you imagine what you are entitled to?
Our personal information may be our most valuable asset in the digital age, but Internet users currently have no reasonable way of knowing how much their information is actually worth.
US Senators Mark Warner of the Democrats and Josh Hawley of the Republicans want to change that. Last Monday, they presented a bill to force the tech giants with more than 100 million active users per month to publish what their data is worth.
If passed, the law would instruct the SEC to develop methods for calculating the value of user data that take different uses, industries and business models into account.
“For years, social media companies have told consumers that their products are free to the user. But that’s not true – you are paying with your data instead of your wallet,” Senator Mark Warner, June 2019.