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senate Bill S. 806

Should Social Media Users Own the Data They Generate on the Internet?

Argument in favor

Social media users should own their personal data as a human right. Giving social media users ownership of their data will further privacy rights and potentially allow them to sell their data as an asset under their own control instead of letting social media companies profit off of it without compensating users.

John's Opinion
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Yesterday at 10:25 PM
I say yes but it’s like the information a cop gets when you get pulled over for speeding. Yes it’s your information but someone else will be using it for or against you. This is a complicated subject. At the very least the company collecting the information should spell out what is being collected in simple language. And you should give the account owner can opt out of having their information collected.
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John.C's Opinion
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Today at 12:37 AM
Facebook makes almost no content on its own. Almost everything is generated by users. Twitter is the same way. I don't want anyone owning my content on social media without express and explicit consent.
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J's Opinion
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Yesterday at 10:06 PM
Naturally, Senator Kennedy has a simple solution to a complex issue. Unfortunately he needs to work with others to make the solution more complete. If it gets past the Grim Reaper it may prove to be more of a slogan than a resolution to the many problems we have with tech and our data. It’s a good start.
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Argument opposed

While social media users maintain the rights to their content on social media platforms, the data generated through their use of these platforms doesn’t rightfully belong to them, as it’s not authored by them in the same way that a social media post is.

SneakyPete's Opinion
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Yesterday at 10:22 PM
👍🏻👍🏻 Senate Bill S.806 AKA the “Own Your Own Data Act” 👍🏻👍🏻 I’m in strong support this Senate Bill S.806 AKA the “Own Your Own Data Act” which would prohibit the collection of private data by social media companies and grant users the property rights to all of the data that they generate on the internet. * Additionally, this bill would require prominent icons to allow users to obtain copies of their data or export it, along with any analysis the company performs. * Finally, it’d require social media users to ensure a plain language licensing agreement that allows the social media company to use their data when registering a social media account. Social media companies would be required to have clickable cancellation icons allowing users to immediately cancel the license agreement. While social media users maintain the rights to their content on social media platforms, the data generated through their use of these platforms doesn’t rightfully belong to them, as it’s not authored by them in the same way that a social media post is. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻 S.806 👍🏻👍🏻. 6.16.19.....
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Lynn's Opinion
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Today at 11:21 AM
Let’s be honest here. What this will do is drive changes to the Terms of Service agreement. Now, for those of us social media users, raise your hand if you read the TOS and/or read the emails you get when they notify us of changes. 👎🏻
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JTJ's Opinion
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Today at 1:25 AM
People can choose not to use social media. This is not the governments business.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
    IntroducedMarch 14th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 806?

This bill — the Own Your Own Data Act — would prohibit the collection of private data by social media companies and grant users the property rights to all of the data that they generate on the internet. Additionally, this bill would require prominent icons to allow users to obtain copies of their data or export it, along with any analysis the company performs. Finally, it’d require social media users to ensure a plain language licensing agreement that allows the social media company to use their data when registering a social media account. Social media companies would be required to have clickable cancellation icons allowing users to immediately cancel the license agreement.

This bill would be enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which would be given the authority to implement relevant regulations.

Impact

Social media users; social media platforms; social media users’ data; and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Cost of Senate Bill S. 806

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced this bill to protect social media users’ private data and grant them property rights to the data they generate on the internet:

“The information that you share on social media is your own data, whether it’s a photo of your children or private messages you share with your friends. You create that content. You should own it. This legislation allows users to access the personal data that social media companies have compiled, and it transfers data property rights back into the hands of the users. These social media companies should not own the data that you create. This legislation will give control and ownership back to the users.”

The Financial Times contends that giving consumers ownership of their personal data is a step towards better data privacy on the internet. Giving social media users ownership of their data, the Times argues, is a step toward giving them a reason to monitor the use of their data and ensure it’s used only when they approve its use. Quartz’s Jennifer Zhu Scott takes this idea a step further, suggesting that social media users should get to decide whom to sell their data to and set a price for their data. She writes, “Ownership is an expression of freedom. In the digital age, individual data ownership will be the cornerstone of the digital freedom we all deserve.”

Singer will.i.am contends that people should own their data as a human right and be compensated for it:

“At a lunch at the World Economic Forum five years ago, guests were asked to predict what people would care about around 2019. My mind raced through thoughts about identity and data. When the host, Marc Benioff, the founder and chairman of Salesforce, turned to me, I stated: “idatity”. Identity and data are increasingly intertwined. The term I coined that day evokes the need for people to be more aware of how they safeguard and share their information. Personal data needs to be regarded as a human right, just as access to water is a human right. The ability for people to own and control their data should be considered a central human value. The data itself should be treated like property and people should be fairly compensated for it.”

As early as 1988, the UN Human Rights Committee argued that the gathering and storage of digital personal data “must be regulated by law” and recommended that countries should take “effective measures” to protect this information from falling into the hands of those who’d use it to abuse rights. The committee also embraced a vision of a world where people can control data about themselves and took the position that everyone should be able to learn whether government bodies and private entities hold information about them and get that data corrected or deleted if it’s wrong or was collected illegally.

The University of British Columbia’s Jason Cheung argues that user-generated data rightfully shouldn’t be user-owned in the way that user content (such as individuals’ photos on Instagram) is. He argues that user-generated data, “although problematic in its ability to identify a user based on browsing history and IP, is not authored, or ‘owned’ by a user.”  To illustrate the point, he argues that “the user does not ‘own’ the copyright to use his or her IP address or browser name, as they are numbers assigned to identify users.”

This bill doesn’t have any cosponsors.


Of NoteAccording to eMarketer, there are currently 204.5 million social network users in the U.S., accounting for 61.9% of the country’s population. By 2021, that number is expected to grow to 213.8 million, accounting for 63.8% of the country’s population.

According to The Next Web, internet users’ data is “immensely valuable to those who know what to do with it.” With this in mind, The Next Web advocates that governments “strongly consider regulating the ways companies gather, use, share, and sell our data” in order to hold companies accountable for data misuse in a way that individuals can’t.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / alexsl)

AKA

Own Your Own Data Act

Official Title

A bill to prohibit the collection of data or information generated on the internet.

    I say yes but it’s like the information a cop gets when you get pulled over for speeding. Yes it’s your information but someone else will be using it for or against you. This is a complicated subject. At the very least the company collecting the information should spell out what is being collected in simple language. And you should give the account owner can opt out of having their information collected.
    Like (34)
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    👍🏻👍🏻 Senate Bill S.806 AKA the “Own Your Own Data Act” 👍🏻👍🏻 I’m in strong support this Senate Bill S.806 AKA the “Own Your Own Data Act” which would prohibit the collection of private data by social media companies and grant users the property rights to all of the data that they generate on the internet. * Additionally, this bill would require prominent icons to allow users to obtain copies of their data or export it, along with any analysis the company performs. * Finally, it’d require social media users to ensure a plain language licensing agreement that allows the social media company to use their data when registering a social media account. Social media companies would be required to have clickable cancellation icons allowing users to immediately cancel the license agreement. While social media users maintain the rights to their content on social media platforms, the data generated through their use of these platforms doesn’t rightfully belong to them, as it’s not authored by them in the same way that a social media post is. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻 S.806 👍🏻👍🏻. 6.16.19.....
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    Facebook makes almost no content on its own. Almost everything is generated by users. Twitter is the same way. I don't want anyone owning my content on social media without express and explicit consent.
    Like (17)
    Follow
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    Naturally, Senator Kennedy has a simple solution to a complex issue. Unfortunately he needs to work with others to make the solution more complete. If it gets past the Grim Reaper it may prove to be more of a slogan than a resolution to the many problems we have with tech and our data. It’s a good start.
    Like (11)
    Follow
    Share
    Let’s be honest here. What this will do is drive changes to the Terms of Service agreement. Now, for those of us social media users, raise your hand if you read the TOS and/or read the emails you get when they notify us of changes. 👎🏻
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    I think it all depends on what “own” means. Users should have the right to “own” what they input. At the same time, if a platform is given a user the space and room to share their info - that data have to owned by the user.
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    People can choose not to use social media. This is not the governments business.
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    I think a more complex and better crafted bill should replace this one. The data a person posts should clearly belong to the original owner Where IP exists either before posting or at the instant of posting) and does not confer rights tot he social media company just by being posted. Likewise, ID/IP extracted from the account belongs to the individual. Generalized data collected from the aggregate of accounts does, and should, belong to the platform owner. The effect of THIS bill is unclear and needs better rendering.
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    Yes, but at the same time as a user of social media be aware of what you are posting.
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    Why should any outside interest own my content for profit and not give me a piece of the pie?
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    Yes. yes. YES. Way too much info about each of you, your friends, your relatives, you shopping habits and so on- is collected and sold to Big Data Operations that know more about you than you know yourself. They know what you like, where you shop, your rough income, and even can project your likely DNA profile -even though you never had it collected. This information is sold to whomever for what may seem like good reasons, like making you aware of new medical options to treat your likely medical problems. However, It can also be used to predict your vulnerabilities to criminal activities or geopolitical influence. When are you likely to be home? What are the ages of your children and where do they go to school? Where will you be vacationing? Do you have hackable accounts worth attacking? What do you do and what do you like that others might find distasteful? and so on. States also collect information and sell it- and that needs to stop as well.
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    Yes and ANYONE who accesses it should have to be approved by the data owner and paid according to the amount to be accessed!
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    Not only should they own their data but they should be fairly compensated for its use. There are millions of dollars invested in behavioral economics algorithms ROUTINELY that would NOT be possible without the end user data. CONSENT IS NOT ENOUGH. COMPENSATE THE PEOPLE Anything less is the equivalent of intellectual property theft,
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    Data that is posted on someone,s social media site should become the exclusive property of the user who creates it for themselves. It should be considered creative and private property. ===JUDY
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    My data is mind and you’ll share my date with my permission only.
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    I like this idea. I make my living as an artist, so this is no small issue for me. I’ve had to chase down people who use my photos as theirs, turned my imagery into “their” work (they printed it on cards, for sale!), plagiarized my writing... it’s shocking what people think is permissible practice. But... here’s my big but again ;) I don’t trust Kennedy even an inch. Now I try very hard to practice principles before personalities, but if he’s behind it, it probably benefits Trump and his ilk. I hope I’m wrong. I hope I’m WAY wrong (I’m off to do my homework hereafter, but I’m likely to forget what I was thinking if I don’t write it down 🤓) because we are way behind the curve on the issues of privacy and intellectual, artistic property and again... well... this is a good start.
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    This is a pretty common sense proposal. People deserve the right to decide how and when their information is used. No company has the right to use it without consent or, at the very least, compansation.
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    Unfortunately most Americans do not realize that because they are not charge for service they are The commodity. I do not use social media I do not see any value in posting my life on the web. I guess I’m not a narcissist.
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    If I want to remove content, that should be my right. Nobody should be able to use my content without my explicit consent. Being able to see what insights were derived from our data will help us be aware of what we are sharing.
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