Cash

A Democratic lawmaker in New York State thinks companies that generate income from consumers’ data should pay a tax.

Earlier this week, Assembly member Stacey Pheffer Amato introduced legislation that calls for a 5% tax on gross revenues of companies that make money from data shared by state residents. The measure would also create a so-called “data fund” to distribute the money to residents, MediaPost reports.

“New York’s consumers should also be able to share in the wealth that is created from their data,” according to a memo from Pheffer Amato. “Turn on your phone, check your email, watch TV, browse the web, drive through a toll or, talk to a friend on the phone. In all of these activities, data about our actions, behaviors, likes and dislikes, mood and feelings, purchases and choices are being recorded by a huge variety of organizations that never will inform you of the data they collect, sell and share.”

A similar measure was introduced last year in the state senate. Opponents say a data tax could encourage tech companies to take their business to other states.

MediaPost’s report notes that last year California Gov. Gavin Newsom floated the idea of a “data dividend” that Silicon Valley tech companies would pay to residents.