New bill could force Facebook, Google to disclose value of users' data

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Mark Warner of Virginia and Republican Josh Hawley of Missouri would require Silicon Valley's biggest platforms to reveal the rewards they reap when their users browse the web, look at products online and connect with friends.

The senators' legislation arises as Sen.

"For years, social media companies have told consumers that their products are free to the user".

What we do know is that firms like Google and Facebook hoard personal information to sell targeted advertising, generating billions of dollars in revenue.

As the US Congress bears down on big tech companies, two senators want to force giants like Google, Facebook and Amazon to tell users what data they're collecting from them and how much it is worth.

Under the bill, "commercial data operators" with more than 100 million monthly users must give public updates as to the total financial value of that user data, as well as the financial value of any third-party contracts the companies have signed that depends on that personal information. The bill requires that the SEC develop a method to calculate the value of users' data. They would also have to disclose the types of data gathered, how much it's worth, and allow users to delete all or parts of their data. "The internet industry supports a comprehensive, economy-wide federal privacy law that covers all companies.to give consumers the protections and rights they need to take full control of the data they provide to companies".

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By providing more visibility into the tech companies' businesses, the bill could help antitrust regulators determine whether the platforms may be harming competition, Warner said in a release - an early copy of which was reviewed by CNN. Critics have said it's nearly impossible to figure out how much someone's data is worth in a digital advertising marketplace that crosses platforms, where online behavior is combined with offline insights, packaged and auctioned off.

The bill would mean users receive a report every 90 days on the types of information collected by tech companies, and how much it is worth to them. Some experts have said that it remains impossible to derive the value of a users' data.

Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Josh Hawley (R-MO) are set to introduce the Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broaden Oversight and Regulations on Data Act, or DASHBOARD Act, on Monday.

Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News.

Warner said that if tech companies can not work with Congress on more "rational, focused reform, then I may very quickly join the crowd that simply says, 'you know, let's break them up.' And I say that as somebody who was a technology entrepreneur longer than I've been a senator".

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