“California’s consumers should… be able to share in the wealth that is created from their data,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said a few weeks after he was inaugurated in 2019.
He directed his staff to come up with a proposal for a “data dividend” for Californians, but has yet to release any details on how it might work. One idea, floated by Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, would be to structure a data dividend similar to the way Alaska shares the wealth from its oil by sending annual checks of $1,500 to each resident. (Another former Facebooker panned the idea.)
So, how much is our data worth? There’s not one agreed upon method for calculating the answer, but here are a few estimates economists have come up with: