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A bipartisan team of senators introduced a bill Monday to require social media companies to disclose more information about the data they collect and monetize from their consumers.
The Dashboard Act, which stands for Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight And Regulations on Data, aims to help consumers understand the price of using social media services that are free on face value.
The article goes on to state the following:
The bill seeks to require “commercial data operators” with more than 100 million monthly active users to disclose the type of data they collect from users and give them “an assessment of the value of that data,” according to a press release announcing the bill. It also would require the companies to file an annual report disclosing third-party contracts involving data collection and give users the right to delete some or all of their collected data.
“For years, social media companies have told consumers that their products are free to the user. But that’s not true — you are paying with your data instead of your wallet,” Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., said in the press release.
The press release reads:
Warner & Hawley Introduce Bill to Force Social Media Companies to Disclose How They Are Monetizing User Data
WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Sens. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) will introduce the Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight And Regulations on Data (DASHBOARD) Act, bipartisan legislation that will require data harvesting companies such as social media platforms to tell consumers and financial regulators exactly what data they are collecting from consumers, and how it is being leveraged by the platform for profit.
“For years, social media companies have told consumers that their products are free to the user. But that’s not true – you are paying with your data instead of your wallet,” said Sen. Warner. “But the overall lack of transparency and disclosure in this market have made it impossible for users to know what they’re giving up, who else their data is being shared with, or what it’s worth to the platform. 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.”
“When a big tech company says its product is free, consumers are the ones being sold. These ‘free’ products track everything we do so tech companies can sell our information to the highest bidder and use it to target us with creepy ads,”said Sen. Hawley.“Even worse, tech companies do their best to hide how much consumer data is worth and to whom it is sold. This bipartisan legislation gives consumers control of their data and will show them how much these ‘free’ services actually cost.”
As user data increasingly represents one of the most valuable, albeit intangible, assets held by technology firms, shining light on how this data is collected, retained, monetized, and protected, is critical. The DASHBOARD Act will:
- Require commercial data operators (defined as services with over 100 million monthly active users) to disclose types of data collected as well as regularly provide their users with an assessment of the value of that data.
- Require commercial data operators to file an annual report on the aggregate value of user data they’ve collected, as well as contracts with third parties involving data collection.
- Require commercial data operators to allow users to delete all, or individual fields, of data collected – and disclose to users all the ways in which their data is being used. including any uses not directly related to the online service for which the data was originally collected.
- Empower the SEC to develop methodologies for calculating data value, while encouraging the agency to facilitate flexibility to enable businesses to adopt methodologies that reflect the different uses, sectors, and business models.
The DASHBOARD Act is the second tech-focused bill Hawley and Warner have partnered on. The first was Hawley’sDo Not Track Act, which would be modeled after the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) “Do Not Call” list and allow users to opt out of non-essential data collection.
Highlight: @jessicaasmith8 on the proposed Dashboard Act: “It would apply to services with 100 million monthly active users. It would require big tech companies to report what data it collects, what that data is worth, and how that data is used.” https://t.co/Jb7k9twFHf pic.twitter.com/AKpcPJBhCq
— Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance) June 24, 2019
Dashboard Act 1-Pager by on Scribd
I think the anti-bias bill Hawley introduced last week is a terrible idea. https://t.co/NobCKF2Xhx I think the data transparency bill he and Warner introduced today is a pretty good idea. https://t.co/qeWUeqiDdW
— Peter Kafka (@pkafka) June 24, 2019
New bill – the Dashboard Act – would require companies to file an annual report disclosing third-party contracts involving data collection and give users the right to delete some or all of their collected #data. Read more! https://t.co/PpHIe1lydV pic.twitter.com/DsLmOAIs2k
— Mareana (@mareana_digital) June 24, 2019
Shoutout to the staffers who came up with “Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight and Regulations on Data Act, or DASHBOARD for short” https://t.co/FPnuJhql5Z
— David Shepardson (@davidshepardson) June 23, 2019
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