Why You Should Get Paid for Your Data

Jennifer Zhu Scott’s Ted Talk

Everyone should watch this recent TED Talk by Jennifer Zhu Scott discussing the power of data. Scott discusses how data is currently being used by large adtech companies, and how it can be used in the future to empower consumers rather than these monopolies. The focus of the talk is making a case for private data ownership. Taking money away from the largest and most powerful tech companies in the world who profit off of your data and making that profit yours. It is your data, it should be your money.

Scott’s Background: Jennifer Zhu Scott is from the Sichuan Province in Southwestern China and is an expert in block chain and artificial intelligence (AI). In 2016, Scott was appointed by the World Economic Forum to be one of the 20 members of the inaugural Council of The Future of Blockchain. She has been listed by Forbes as one of the World’s Top 50 Women in Tech. Scott has spoken at many conferences and events including Davos in 2018, showcasing her broad knowledge and expertise on most things fintech, block chain, AI, and data ownership. Her ideas on private data ownership may seem too progressive to some, but more and more people are beginning to take their data security seriously. Scott’s TED Talk comes at a critical junction in American data regulation, with more and more states following the CCPA perhaps it’s time to look at data from a private perspective.

Main Points of Scott’s Talk:

    • Seven out of the top 10 most valuable companies in the world are tech companies that either directly generate profit from data or use data as a main core of their business.
    • Based on an estimation, in the year 2030 every single individual will have up to 15 different devices that will all generate data that can be collected.
    • Google, Facebook, and Tencent’s combined revenue for 2018 alone was over $236 billion, and not a cent of that went to the millions of users whose data generated that profit.
    • Give people the liberty of private data ownership
    • Private data ownership would allow you to possess, use, gift, pass on, destroy or trade data or sell your asset at a price accepted by you.

Jennifer Zhu Scott speaks about her dynamics with her daughters and her fears of their relationships with technology. More specifically of becoming a “digital citizen”, but that people need to be informed about what data is ok to  be shared and what should be kept private. 

Having everyone be a responsible “digital citizen” is not an easy task nor is there an easy solution to this dilemma, but as Scott says data generated by individuals is going to have a massive increase on the AI industry which is projected to contribute $13 trillion of output in the next ten years. As Scott says at the end, “Shouldn’t we at least consider an economic model that empowers the people?”