Should they pay us for our data?

It is known that various technology companies make use of our data to have information on our consumer choices, and so on. Until now, the tendency was to prevent companies from accessing this data without the user's consent and guaranteeing the duty of information regarding the uses of the data they were collecting.

But what would happen if the problem was approached in a different way? Under this premise, it is that it originates the concept of the “labor movement of data”, by which “digital monopolies are forced to compensate people for their electronic data”Said El Confidencial. In reality, this concept is not limited to the personal data that people leave exposed daily while we visit our social networks or visit different websites, but also refers to any original material that people contribute to the network.

Did you make any recommendations on Trip Advisor? Did you rate any restaurant on their Facebook page? Did you send location data? All this helped to improve the services of Google, Amazon, Facebook, among others. All these recommendations and assessments helped to make these pages a reliable source of information for subsequent consumption decisions, among many other uses. And that made these tech giants bill more every year. And those who did all the work?

Given this situation, the computer scientist and researcher Jaron Lanier, raised the possibility of a system of micropayments for all users who will contribute something original to the network. On the other hand, the researcher Nikolaos Laoutaris pointed out in his article, Why Online Services Should Pay you for your data ?, that such a payment scheme to users could also serve to “reconcile the technology giants with the data protection laws and make that companies like Google, Amazon or Facebook earn even more money. ”

If they are going to pay users for the recommendations, how can they earn even more money? They would do it because they would pay for higher quality data that would generate more reliability regarding the information they collect. Until now, under the umbrella of gratuity, they only obtain information without being sure that it is correct, based on “assumptions made by a web page about what users like,” but if there was a reward for medium, you could ask the user for confirmation about this information.

Reconcile with personal data protection regulations? Well, it would generate a kind of contract with the owner of the data, where the use of the data is obviously being authorized and consented. On the other hand, an incentive would be generated for compliance with the “data minimization” principle of the GDPR (or the principle of data quality, in the Peruvian case), whereby companies would only collect and process the strictly necessary data , contrary to the current situation in which they collect practically all the information that they can, without discriminating that which might not be useful to them, because it costs them nothing to have it.

Who will decide if the payment is fair? The usual: the market and competition. But you are working on software that will notify you if the companies were not paying properly.

It is a data economy centered on the human being.

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Marilú Lazo
Bachelor in Law from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (PUCP). He has experience in corporate advice, as well as personal data protection and new technologies.


es Spanish