If you have never heard of Andrew Yang, he is a data entrepreneur who was a democratic nominee in the recent 2020 presidential election campaigns and was called the “Internet’s Favorite Candidate” by The New York Times. Yang focused his presidential campaign in 2020 around the vision of building a human-centered economy and implementing a $1000-a-month “freedom dividend” for all Americans. Yang also wanted to establish a “Data Bill of Rights”, stating that consumer data is the new oil, and arguing that consumers should own their personal data and get paid for its use. Yang’s most recent endeavor was launching The Data Dividend Project (DDP), which is focused on consumers taking back control of their data.
Simply put, The DDP helps people get paid for their data. Its primary objective is to establish and enforce data property rights under laws such as the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). Now with the CCPA in effect, consumers have much more knowledge and detail of all the data tracking and collecting done by these big companies and Yang is looking to enhance the consumer data ownership movement by allowing consumers to conveniently band together by joining the DDP. The more people who join the DDP the more powerful it becomes and Yang is looking to mobilize at least 1 million consumers by the end of 2020.
Yang also just released a Medium post urging consumers to collect the payments they are owed from an old Yahoo data breach. During the time of January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2016 over 3 billion accounts were breached allowing hackers access to personal information from all 3 billion accounts. Primarily based on two separate hacks and breaches occurring in 2013 and 2014, Yahoo has reached a $117.5 million class-action settlement, offering those accounts affected up to $358 in payouts and offering at least two years of free credit monitoring as well. The DDP is offering for everybody to submit claims through them making the process a lot easier for consumers so they do not have to worry about where or how to file a claim, nor really keep track with it. The Data Dividend Project has a short 3-question survey and then will direct you to the right place to make your claim. All claims must be postmarked or filed online by July 20, 2020.
The DDP is trying to hold companies accountable for how they use consumer data and the recent Yahoo post is one of many lawsuits and payouts for users to come. Yang’s ultimate goal is to not only get consumers paid when companies mess up and there is some sort of fine, but for companies to start genuinely paying users’ for the data they create going about their daily lives. It is time to give the people back the power to control their own data, and it is time to change the ways of these big corporations profiting billions off of consumer generated data.