Mar 9, 2019

A new bill would require tech platforms to disclose the value of users’ data

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Consumer data has long been the core asset of the internet economy, but consumers have never been able to put a tangible price on the data they share.

Scoop: Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) is drafting a bill that would require web platforms of a certain size, including Facebook and Google, to regularly tell users the value of their data, according to a person with direct knowledge of the proposal.

  • Platforms would have to tell users what data had been gathered from them and how it’s used for commercial gain.
  • The proposal would also force platforms to tell the Securities and Exchange Commission how it obtained data that holds commercial value, as well as the total value of their data holdings.

In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom is developing a "Data Dividend" to let residents be paid for access to their information so they can "share in the wealth that is created from their data."

Economists ran a 2017 experiment to estimate the actual value of these free services. They asked participants in the Netherlands the least amount of money they would accept to leave an online service for a month. Their average answers:

  • About $110 to log off Facebook
  • A whopping $600 to give up WhatsApp
  • Under $1 to stop using Skype or Twitter

In an Axios-SurveyMonkey poll, 54% said they wouldn't pay to avoid having their data tracked.

  • Of those who would consider paying, 21% would be willing to pay less than $1 at most, and 15% would be willing to pay less than $5 at most.
  • Young people aged 18–24 (45%) were more likely to be willing to pay than people aged 65 and older (25%).

Yes, but: Data is most valuable when it's interacting with other data, like purchase history, location and communication patterns. That means the value of an individual's data is worth less on its own than when it's on a service like Facebook that has massive scale.

Go deeper: What Facebook knows about you

Methodology : These data are from a SurveyMonkey online poll conducted among adults ages 18 and older in the United States. Respondents were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. The survey was conducted March 5-6, 2019 among 2,122 adults. The modeled error estimate for the full sample is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points and full crosstabs are available here.

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World coronavirus updates: Spain's health care system overloaded

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Two planes carrying protective equipment arrived to restock Spain’s overloaded public health system on Wednesday as confirmed cases surpassed 100,000 and the nation saw its biggest death toll so far, Reuters reports.

The big picture: COVID-19 cases surged past 930,000 and the global death toll exceeded 46,000 on Wednesday night, per Johns Hopkins data. Italy has reported more than 13,000 deaths.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 6 mins ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 932,605 — Total deaths: 46,809 — Total recoveries: 193,177Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 213,372 — Total deaths: 4,757 — Total recoveries: 8,474Map.
  3. Business updates: Small businesses are bearing the brunt of the coronavirus job crisis.
  4. World update: Spain’s confirmed cases surpassed 100,000, and the nation saw its biggest daily death toll so far. More than 500 people were reported dead within the last 24 hours in the U.K., per Johns Hopkins.
  5. State updates: Florida and Pennsylvania are the latest states to issue stay-at-home orders — Michigan has more than 9,000 confirmed cases, an increase of 1,200 and 78 new deaths in 24 hours.
  6. Stock market updates: Stocks closed more than 4% lower on Wednesday, continuing a volatile stretch for the stock market amid the coronavirus outbreak.
  7. 1 future thing: Shifts to telemedicine, at-home diagnostics, and drone delivery are all likely lasting consequences from this pandemic.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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U.S. coronavirus updates: Confirmed cases surpass 200,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Positive cases of the novel coronavirus passed 213,000 on Wednesday — nearly twice as many as Italy, per Johns Hopkins — as more state governors issued stay-at-home orders for Americans to curb infection.

The state of play: Trump administration officials are anonymously sounding the alarm that America's emergency stockpile of personal protective equipment is running dangerously low, the Washington Post reports.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 15 mins ago - Health