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Two senators want big tech companies to put an actual price on your data

It’s time for these companies to put their money where their mouth is.

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Image: RTE

We’ve been hearing a lot about our data lately. This company was illegally snooping on your data. That company leaked your data. This company stole your data through that company, which then sold your data to some Russian ad tracking service.

But if our data is so precious that the Mark Zuckerbergs of the world will do borderline evil things to obtain it, the question becomes: How much is actually worth?

That’s the question that Sen. Mark Warner and Sen. Josh Hawley are hoping to answer. According to Axios, the two senators are working on a bi-partisan (!) bill that would force big tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Google to put an actual, monetary value on users’ data.

The tech bill will reportedly be called the Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight and Regulations on Data Act

Shortened to the DASHBOARD Act, it is being proposed not only to force big tech companies to be more transparent but to help the average user gain a little insight into exactly what they’re agreeing to before checking the “I agree” box.

“For years, social media companies have told consumers that their products are free to the user,” wrote Warner on Twitter. “But that’s not true – you are paying with your data instead of your wallet. You should have the right to know what that data is worth.”

Taking exception to Facebook in particular, Warner – who is also co-sponsoring on a “Do Not Track Act,” (think a Do Not Call list for data harvesting companies) – noted that many big tech companies know more about its users than the government, all while hiding behind a wall of secrecy. Although Facebook does not release its average revenue per user numbers each quarter, CNET claims the figure was $6.42 in April.

“This senator’s patience is wearing very thin,” said Warner. “It’s time for these companies to put their money where their mouth is.”

What do you think? Should tech companies be more transparent about our data’s value? Do we deserve compensation? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Writer. Editor. Barelyknewer. Hate mail can be directed to j j o n e s @ k a r s f o r k i d s d o t e a r t h l i n k

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