People give massive amounts of their personal data to companies for free every day. Some economists, academics and activists think they should be paid for their contributions.
Called data dividends, or sometimes digital or technology dividends, the somewhat obscure idea got a boost on Feb 12 from an unexpected source: California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom.
“California’s consumers should … be able to share in the wealth that is created from their data. And so I’ve asked my team to develop a proposal for a new data dividend for Californians, because we recognize that your data has value and it belongs to you,” said Newsom during his annual State of the State speech.
The concept is based in part on an existing model in Alaska where residents receive payment for their share of the state’s oil-royalties fund dividend each fall. The payouts, which can vary from hundreds of dollars to a couple thousand of dollars per person, have become a regular part of the state’s economy. [Continue reading…]