Should Tech Companies Be Paying Us for Our Data? - with Nicholas Vincent

Should Tech Companies Be Paying Us for Our Data? - with Nicholas Vincent

Show Notes

Every minute, 990,000 Tinder profiles are swiped, 156 million emails are sent, and 16 million text messages are sent out.

Moreover, Google processes 40,000 searches a second and 1.4 billion people log into Facebook every day.

We live in a digital economy, and it runs on data!

Just think about it, every time you check your Instagram feed or Twitter timeline, Google a new recipe, or search the web for the latest sneaker drop, you are providing tons of data that will make it a more personalized experience.

But who are the real winners from all this data generation? Well, the digital ad revenue business is a whopping $200 billion industry thanks to our generous data contributions.

Our guest today is Nicholas Vincent, a post-doc researcher at Northwestern University, who is studying this very interaction between technology and social behavior. Nick is leading the charge to balance the scales between data providers (us) and data brokers (the personal data industry).

Nick puts forward the concept: "What if those organizations profiting from your data had to pay you a share of that earning?" These data dividends have been getting a lot of traction, with presidential candidate Andrew Yang launching the Data Dividend Project, which is pushing tech companies to pay users for their data.

Additionally, Nick and colleague Hanlin Li are suggesting new ways to address the power imbalance:

🔸 Data strikes: withholding or deleting your data so a tech firm cannot use it - Leaving a platform or installing privacy tools.
🔸 Data poisoning: contributing meaningless or harmful data - You play music that you dislike on your device and then walk away, thereby confusing the algorithm.
🔸 Conscious data contribution: Giving data to the competitor, such as switching to a new search engine or transferring photos to a new platform.

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