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'Dashboard Act' Would Force Orgs to Disclose Data

On Monday, Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) proposed the Designing Accounting Safeguards to Help Broader Oversight and Regulations on Data, also known as the DASHBOARD Act, which would put strict requirements on data operators, according to CNBC News.

“For years, social media companies have told consumers that their products are free to the user. But that’s not true – you are paying with your data instead of your wallet,” Warner reportedly said in a press release.

Those companies identified as data operators are defined as having more than 100 million active monthly users, which is most social media platforms and tech giants like Google. If voted into law, the new requirements would mandate that data operators “provide each user of the commercial data operator with an assessment of the economic value that the commercial data operator places on the data of that user; and in a clear and conspicuous manner.”

Data operators would also need to convey to each individual user the exact types of data that are being collected by either the company itself or a partner. “The concept of forcing large companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google to show their cards and actually tell people what their personal data is worth to the company is a novel one,” wrote Dennis Fisher in a June 24 blog post for Duo Security

“Most users of those companies’ services likely have little if any idea of how much data is collected by them, let alone what the monetary value of that information is. But those companies most certainly do, as their business models depend upon it,” Fisher continued.

In response to the news, CEO and president of the Internet Association Michael Beckerman wrote, “Data helps businesses – across all industries and of all sizes and business models – provide consumers with better products and services. We are encouraged by policymaker interest in addressing consumer privacy and providing Americans with greater transparency and control over how their data is used and protected. The internet industry supports a comprehensive, economy-wide federal privacy law that covers all companies – from social media sites to local grocery stores to data brokers – to give consumers the protections and rights they need to take full control of the data they provide to companies.”

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