Press Release

AAF’s Will Rinehart Testifies Before Senate on Data Ownership

In testimony before the Senate Banking Committee, AAF’s Director of Techology and Innovation Policy Will Rinehart discusses the implications of assigning property rights to individuals’ data. Experts broadly agree that property rights for data are cumbersome and difficult to implement, he notes, and a privacy regime does not require such a radical reimagination of property rights.

His central points:

  • A property right to personal data isn’t needed to establish consumer privacy rights, nor would it be economically efficient to establish this kind of property right;
  • Valuing personal data is difficult because raw or personal data per se is not what is in in demand, but rather the insights that can be gleaned from that data—insights that often depend on the data’s environment; and
  • Regardless of the particular policy mechanism, privacy laws will create unavoidable costs from compliance, which will impact investment opportunities in countless industries.

Watch the hearing

Read the testimony