Most of us who are into tech are aware that massive amounts of data is being collected on us every minute of everyday through the devices that are basically a part of us. Maybe fewer of you know that this data has become a resource more valuable than oil. Unfortunately, you do not own this data that is collected about you. It's making money for tech companies while you are the one being mined for this valuable resource. Presidential candidate, Andrew Yang is not only proposing that you should have a right to your data, but you should also be able to get a piece of the money being made of it as well.
The Corbett Report released a video today about presidential candidate, Andrew Yang and his recent blog post about "regulating technology firms in the 21st century." This video invited it's viewers to join in on a little journalistic exercise and actually read Yang's blog before engaging in the rest of the video and determine what parts you would highlight to summarize the most important points. The video caught me at a good time and I decided to partake in the exercise. (I invite you to join in as well. Link to Yang's blog post here)
The blog talks about big tech companies profiting off of personal data without accountability, the psychological effect of social media dopamine addiction, and the inability of our current government to handle these issues.
Solutions to these problems are presented as a four pronged approach:
1. Regulate the use of data and privacy by establishing data as a property right. The associated rights will enable individuals to retain ownership and share in the economic value generated by their data.
2. Minimize health impacts of modern tech on our people, particularly our children. I will create a Department of the Attention Economy that focuses on smartphones, social media, gaming, and apps, and how to responsibly design and use them, including age restrictions and guidelines.
3. Stop the spread of misinformation that is eroding trust in our institutions and fanning the flames of polarization in our society. I will scale up VAT on digital ads to hasten a shift away from ad-driven business models, require disclosures on all ads, regulate bot activity, and regulate algorithms, addressing the grey area between publishers and platforms.
4. Adopt a 21st century approach to regulation that increases the knowledge and capacity of government while using new metrics to determine competitiveness and quickly identifies emerging tech in need of regulation.
The post continues to cover topics such as cryptocurrency, loot boxes, disinformation, and the creation of two new departments in the government to handle these issues. They are the Department of Attention Economy and the Department of Technology at a Cabinet level.
What's also interesting and beyond the candidate's blog itself is how others are reporting on this topic. If you are one of the few who decided to check out Andrew Yang's blog post for yourself then you may be surprised at the headline chosen by The Verge on the very same article seen here.
I may be biased but I thought the idea of data being considered a "property right" was what really jumped out at me.
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