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Should people be paid for sharing their personal data online?


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Should people be paid for sharing their personal data online?

By Umberto Bacchi

 

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LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - From tagging photos on Facebook to driving with Google Maps, people should join forces in “data unions” to demand payment for letting online tools collect their data, according to an economist advocating for radical reforms to improve society.

 

Glen Weyl, a principal researcher at the research arm of U.S. tech giant Microsoft, said people have been “fooled” into handing over data that is then used in artificial intelligence (AI) to copy human behavior and possibly eliminate some jobs.

 

“Humans are doing all this work and then we are being told that we are doing nothing, that we play no role, and that these systems are just going to automate us away. This is profoundly dishonest,” Weyl told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

 

“We need to respect the fact that those data are actually being created by the very people who these companies are claiming are no longer relevant. And we need to acknowledge that by compensating them.”

 

While getting paid for tagging photos on Instagram or uploading to YouTube might sound way off, the idea has been gaining some traction in the United States as tech giants from Google, to Facebook and Twitter, face increased scrutiny over the way they handle personal information.

 

Democratic presidential contender Andrew Yang has said people should receive a share of the economic value generated from their data, while the governor of California, Gavin Newsom, recently proposed companies should pay a “data dividend”.

 

Weyl said the amount people would get is a matter of debate but it would in general depend on the size of the economy that becomes automated, with people getting more money the more jobs are taken over by artificial intelligence thanks to their data.

 

Estimates vary from $500 a year in a present day scenario, to $20,000 some 15 years down the line, when some projections say a third of all jobs will be done by computers, he said.

 

Yet, single users are unlikely to get a penny unless they organize in “data unions” similarly to what workers did during the industrial revolution, said Weyl, a speaker at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s annual Trust Conference on Thursday.

 

“People get paid for completing surveys, or putting television boxes in their home that monitor how they watch television,” he said.

 

“The problem is that the ability of people to receive reasonable and fair compensation for what they do online is undermined by the fact that all these other people are consenting to do it for free.”

 

Unions could bring together users with specific sets of data, like on travel or shopping habits, and bargain a better price for it, said Weyl, who co-authored the 2018 book “Radical Markets” with legal scholar Eric Posner.

 

They could also help address privacy concerns by restricting what information is collected and how it is used, he added.

 

Some early versions of data unions already exist.

 

U.S. start-up Datacoup offers users a platform to monetise their data, while Dutch group ‘Datavakbond’, or “data labor union”, was set up in 2018 with the aim of negotiating directly with Facebook and Google over data use.

 

But Weyl said more people needed to get involved or become vocal about the need for a more equitable system otherwise things could slide in the opposite direction, with a few powerful companies and central states controlling most data.

 

“We can build alternatives to the worst scenarios but those alternatives are not going to come unless we do it together,” he said.

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2019-11-14
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Why would anybody pay for them as long as billions of people are willing to provide their data for "free"?

Users get such wonderful things like facebook "for free". How many people would pay for that i.e. 10USD per month? So now they pay with their personal data - I guess that is worth more than 10USD per month.

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13 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

Yet, single users are unlikely to get a penny unless they organize in “data unions” similarly to what workers did during the industrial revolution, said Weyl, a speaker at the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s annual Trust Conference on Thursday.

Sign me up. 

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I think the best way to compensate people for data they provide is by taxing companies that collect data. Many of the larger ones like Amazon, Google, FB, and Microsoft are constantly accused of not paying their fair share of taxes in the US. This would be a way to compensate people. If and that is a big I-F, the revenue collected could be earmarked for public services, like health, job training, etc.

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14 hours ago, snoop1130 said:

Should people be paid for sharing their personal data online?

If this is set up, there will be manufactured identities created to cash in on this.  Not just the occasional fake id, but high-volume identity farms.

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Vacuum said:
7 hours ago, impulse said:

if you aren't a paying customer, you're the product they're selling.

Is windows for free?

 

I honestly don't know any more.  The last upgrade I did to Win10 on several computers cost me nothing.  In return, I understand that Win10 collects a lot more data from me.  I made the trade-off willingly because I figure I have nothing to hide.  We'll see if it comes back and bites me in the butt.

 

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36 minutes ago, impulse said:

 

I honestly don't know any more.  The last upgrade I did to Win10 on several computers cost me nothing.  In return, I understand that Win10 collects a lot more data from me.  I made the trade-off willingly because I figure I have nothing to hide.  We'll see if it comes back and bites me in the butt.

 

Exactly which data does Microsoft collect through Windows and how do they use this data?

I didn't see any advertisement in Windows which is especially made foe me depending on my data.

I think compared to i.e. Google, Facebook and many other social media MS is harmless.

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10 hours ago, OneMoreFarang said:

Exactly which data does Microsoft collect through Windows and how do they use this data?

I didn't see any advertisement in Windows which is especially made foe me depending on my data.

I think compared to i.e. Google, Facebook and many other social media MS is harmless.

 

 

https://eccitsolutions.com/stop-windows-10-collecting-data/

 

https://www.zdnet.com/article/is-windows-10-still-telling-microsoft-what-youre-doing-even-if-you-dont-want-it-to/

 

https://www.extremetech.com/computing/282263-microsoft-windows-10-data-collection

 

I don't claim to be an expert, but Googling "Windows 10 personal data collection" yields a lot of results...  Harmless or nefarious?  I don't have a clue.  Or much of a choice really, since a lot of the programs I use for work are only available for Windows.

 

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