Andrew Yang, the technology entrepreneur and former 2020 presidential candidate, announced the launch of a program on Monday that will advocate for internet users to be compensated for data collected by tech companies.
The program, called the Data Dividend Project (DDP), hopes to mobilize one million people over the next year to “establish and enforce data property rights under laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).”
The CCPA is an internet privacy bill that went into effect in California at the beginning of this year. It allows users to opt-out of the sale of their personal information and requires more transparency about data that is being collected.
However, it appears that the Data Dividend Project will aim to create enough of a movement to push laws like the CCPA further, demanding that data is a person’s property and that they should be compensated for its use.
“DDP is building a movement of Americans who are fed up with technology companies taking advantage of them and who have collectively decided to take a stand,” the project’s website reads. “By signing up with DDP, you give us the ability to collectively advocate for your data rights and your right to be compensated for the use of YOUR data, which is YOUR property. With a critical mass of Californians—and eventually, all Americans—demanding their fair share, technology companies will no longer be able to get away with hoarding the gains made off your data.”
Yang brought up data property during his 2020 presidential campaign. While announcing his proposal last October, he wrote that data was “more valuable than oil.”
“Our data is ours—or it should be. At this point our data is more valuable than oil. If anyone benefits from our data it should be us. I would make data a property right that each of us shares,” Yang wrote on Twitter at the time.
Yang, in a video announcing the Data Dividend Project, said the program will also work with legislators in states that do not have data laws to “get laws on the books.”