Two US senators presented a bill a few hours ago in Congress with which they seek to force technology companies to disclose what data they collect about their users and how they are taking advantage of them to obtain benefits.
The two senators who have launched this proposal are Mark Warner (Democrat, of the state of Virgina) and Josh Hawley (Republican, of the state of Missouri). They have baptized this bill as ‘Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight and Regulations on Data’ (DASHBOARD).
“You are paying with your data instead of with your wallet”
This bill directly targets those technology companies that have more than 100 million active users monthly and that collect data on them.
If it is approved, these companies will have to inform (both the users and the authorities) what precise information they are collecting, if they are using it for their own benefit and how they are carrying it out.
They have released this bill in an interview with Axios, in which Warner warned that “for years, social media companies have told their consumers that their products are free.” It is not true, you are paying with your data. instead of with your wallet.”
Basically, Warner is reminding us of a saying very used in technology: “if you do not pay for the product, the product is you”. To make matters worse, this bill also seeks that companies inform “regularly” users about the volume of their data.
“The general lack of transparency and disclosure in this market has made it impossible for users to know what they are giving up, who else their data is shared with or what value they have for the platforms.”
They also seek to require them to submit an annual report on the added value of the user data they have collected, in addition to specifying the contracts they have with third parties to collect information.
In the interview, Warner spoke specifically about Facebook, stating that the social network knows more about its users than the government itself. As we see in the graph above, the company has obtained between 8 and 10 dollars per user (in the case of Europe) in recent quarters.