Governor urges 'data dividend' to share tech wealth

February 13, 2019
Governor Gavin Newsom of California said his "data dividend" plan would allow state residents to share in the wealth derived from tech firms monetizing personal information from online users

The new governor of the state that is home to Silicon Valley said Tuesday his team is working on a plan for a "data dividend" that internet firms would pay users.

Governor Gavin Newsom announced the proposal during a "State of the State" address, reasoning that people should share in money that make off of what they know about users.

"Consumers have a right to know and control how their data is being used," Newsom said, referring to state privacy legislation passed last year.

"But California's consumers should also be able to share in the wealth that is created from their data."

Silicon Valley-based Google and Facebook dominate the multi-billion dollar global online digital advertising market, using what they learn about users to target advertisements that might be of interest.

The practice has fueled debate about whether people have, in a way, been turned into products by internet companies whose paying customers are advertisers.

Concerns have also risen regarding whether the privacy of users is being sufficiently protected.

"California is proud to be home to determined to change the world," Newsom said.

The move comes with technology giants under pressure from regulators around the world to disclose more about their and give users better control over personal information.

"But companies that make billions of dollars collecting, curating and monetizing our personal data have a duty to protect it."

Newsom shared little detail about his proposal, saying he had asked members of his team to work on it because "we recognize that your data has value and it belongs to you."

Explore further: California nixes plans for high-speed LA-SF rail line

Related Stories

California nixes plans for high-speed LA-SF rail line

February 12, 2019

California Governor Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that he was abandoning plans to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco, citing the high cost and the time it would take.

Local official sues Facebook over data misuse

December 19, 2018

The top legal officer in the US capital city has sued Facebook over privacy violations related to personal data leaked to the Cambridge Analytica consultancy working on Donald Trump's 2016 campaign.

How much are your online data really worth?

April 12, 2018

By now Facebook users seem to finally get that they may not get charged anything for using the social networking service but it sure isn't free, not after being subjected to ad after spookily tailored ad.

Recommended for you

Great white shark genome decoded

February 18, 2019

The great white shark is one of the most recognized marine creatures on Earth, generating widespread public fascination and media attention, including spawning one of the most successful movies in Hollywood history. This ...

How our plants have turned into thieves to survive

February 18, 2019

Scientists have discovered that grasses are able to short cut evolution by taking genes from their neighbours. The findings suggest wild grasses are naturally genetically modifying themselves to gain a competitive advantage.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.