A growing idea: Big Tech should pay people for their data

Why it matters : If adopted, the argument — pressed by tech thinkers, economists and a new book — could erode billions of dollars of profit from companies like Google and Facebook, along with China's Alibaba and Tencent. Meanwhile, an undetermined amount of money, though probably just a few dollars to start, would go into the pockets of ordinary people around the world. Big Tech is being challenged by a new strain of thought: that it should pay people for their data. The current arrangement — data for free search and friendship services — is insufficient, the new thinking goes. What they're saying: The argument is that data is actually labor — the result of stuff that everyone does in their daily lives. Therefore, if a company is using it for commercial purposes, it should pay the source of the data — you. In the Weekend FT, tech thinker Jaron Lanier laments that Read more