‘Data tax’ would let NY residents share in wealth of big tech data collection

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Every time you turn on your phone, check your email or shop online – your personal data is likely being collected, shared and sold for profit by big tech companies.

State Sen. David Carlucci says he's got a plan that would level the playing field across New York and allow consumers to share in the wealth created by the buying and selling of their own digital data.

“The idea here is to have a data dividend, or a data tax,” Carlucci explained. “It would be a tax on the data that's used by these companies to make a profit, and then it would be distributed in the form of a dividend to the residents of New York state.”

His plan is somewhat similar to the oil dividend paid out to Alaska residents.

Social media giants like Facebook and other online data companies that do business in New York would be forced to pay a 5% tax on their gross income to the state, which would then issue a rebate check directly to residents. That rebate could range between a few dollars to a few thousand.

Though New York would be the first to pass such a law, other states like California are also considering doing the same thing, despite a long list of Republican skeptics who worry the tax would send companies and jobs out of state.

“We always have to be concerned about your taxes and any consideration that a company has from moving out of New York state or not coming to New York state. But I think we have to focus on what is our greatest asset and that's the people of New York state,” says Carlucci.



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