The way Google is using your data, they should pay you for it

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang. Photo: Gage Skidmore
Politicians and consumers are increasingly becoming aware of the massive data that we are leaving in the hands of internet giants like Google.

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The Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang, who seems to be winning quite a few battles more than anticipated, recently addressed this issue, when he spoke in a Democratic Presidential Debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio.

– Our data is worth more than oil

According to The Washington Post, Yang proposed to let the tech giants, who are making a living off our data, be paying for it as well:

– The best way we can fight back against big tech companies is to say our data is our property. Right now, our data is worth more than oil. How many of you remember getting your data check in the mail? It got lost. It went to Facebook, Amazon, Google. If we say this is our property and we share in the gains, that’s the best way we can balance the scales against the big tech companies, Yang proposed.

Sharing the economical benefits

On his campaign page, Yang goes further in explaining his idea:

– Consent should be informed and active – companies are responsible for ensuring that they collect a positive opt-in from each user before collecting any data, and this opt-in should be accompanied by a clear and easy-to-understand statement about what data is being collected, and how it is going to be used. You can waive these rights and opt in to sharing your data if you wish for the companies’ benefit and your own convenience – but then you should receive a share of the economic value generated from your data.

Is it worth sharing?

No matter how much politicians would like to create systems for sharing the value of our data, the topic will doubtfully be on the list for the first 100 days of any president.

In the meantime, consumers should be aware of what they are sharing and with whom. There is always an option to make active decisions when choosing online services, and rather placing the trust in alternative service providers who take a different approach to data collection and privacy.


Top photo: Gage Skidmore

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