Google, Facebook may face 'data dividend' in California

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom proposed a measure this week that could result in the state’s tech giants – like Google and Facebook – paying users for access to their data.

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During his first State of the State address on Tuesday, Newsom applauded California’s passage of a digital privacy law last year, but added more could be done to allow consumers to control their own data.


“California's consumers should also be able to share in the wealth that is created from their data,” Newsom said. “And so I’ve asked my team to develop a proposal for a new Data Dividend for Californians, because we recognize that your data has value and it belongs to you.”

Newsom, who said California is proud to be home to “technology companies determined to change the world,” didn’t provide any other specific details on what such a proposal could entail. He added that these companies have to protect the data they make “billions of dollars collecting, curating and monetizing.”

Spokespeople for Facebook and Google did not return FOX Business’ request for comment.

Last year, California passed a sweeping law giving residents more control over, and insight into, the use of their personal information on the web. Consumers can tell companies to delete their information or not to share it.


Additionally, Newsom made headlines by saying he intended to curtail a planned $77 billion project to build a high-speed rail line between Los Angeles and San Francisco – a proposal championed by predecessor Gov. Jerry Brown. Newsom said the project would “cost too much” and “take too long.”

Instead, Newsom said he intends to build a high-speed line in California’s Central Valley – from Merced to Bakersfield. The governor acknowledged that critics might call this “a train to nowhere,” which he called wrong.