Two senators from both sides of the aisle on Monday introduced legislation that, if passed, would require big tech companies – like Google, Facebook, Amazon and Instagram – to disclose what type of data they’re collecting and how much it’s worth.
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Proposed by Sens. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Josh Hawley, R-Mo., the legislation, named the signing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight And Regulations on Data Act, or DASHBOARD for short, would require commercial data operators with more than 100 million monthly active users to divulge what types of data it collects, and regularly provide an assessment on that data’s value.
“Our bipartisan bill will allow consumers to understand the true value of the data they are providing to the platforms, which will encourage competition and allow antitrust enforcers to identify potentially anticompetitive practices,” Warner said in a statement.
These big tech companies would also have to file an annual report on the overarching value of all user data they’ve collected -- as well as contracts with third parties involving data collection. Plus, users would have the ability to delete all of their personal information that’s been harvested by these companies.
According to Axios, which first reported the story, users would not receive a financial payout for their data.
“Tech companies do their best to hide how much consumer data is worth and to whom it is sold,” Hawley said. “This bipartisan legislation gives consumers control of their data and will show them how much these 'free' services actually cost.”
The bill comes in the midst of a looming showdown between big tech and Capitol Hill, as well as calls by 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren to break up some of the country’s biggest technology companies including Amazon, Google and Facebook, which she referred to as “monopolies.”
The U.S. Department of Justice is also gearing up to investigate antitrust violations by Alphabet Inc’s subsidiary Google, with a focus on the company’s search practices.