You might have heard of the fact that you are giving away your personal information to companies when you click on “I agree” to use an app for free. This information is then sold to advertising agencies for a profit. As Senator Hawley states on his website, “when a big tech company says its product is free, consumers are the ones being sold. These ‘free’ products track everything we do so tech companies can sell our information to the highest bidder and use it to target us with creepy ads.”
Based on this information, advertising companies can target consumers with deals or coupon codes they find suitable. Ultimately, a lot of money is made with the help of personal data collected by companies like Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
In exchange for this valuable personal information, all the user gets is access to the free service. Senators Mark Warner and Josh Hawley are introducing the DASHBOARD Act (Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight and Regulations on Data Act) which would ask companies with over 100 million subscribers or monthly users to uncover their practices of collecting data along with the value placed on the data collected. To calculate how much the data is worth The Securities and Exchange Commission would have to develop a method.
Based on the terms and conditions of DASHBOARD Act, companies will also have to reveal the value of their user’s data on annual basis. Customer will have the options to delete some or all of their data. It is expected that the bill would help customers be aware of the service they would be signing for, the kind of information taken from them and how much profit these companies are making from this data.
The motivation behind the DASHBOARD act is the failure of big companies to protect users’ personal information and provide adequate compensation for their data. An example of this is the recent outrage against Facebook inability to guard its users’ data and monitor third-party access to the information.
Politicians are trying their best to fight for people’s rights; it is yet to see how the value of this data would be measured.
This post is also available in: Tiếng Việt