Gyeonggi Province Becomes First Local Autonomy in World to Implement a Data Dividend; Governor Lee Jae-myung Says It “Heralds an Era of Data Sovereignty”

Createdd 2020-02-20 Hit 250


○ Gyeonggi Province executed a data dividend from February 20 to 22, returning profits generated from local currency transaction data to residents.
-KRW 120 per card is credited to 360,000 local currency cards used from April to December of last year in 20 cities and counties
-The world’s first instance of data sovereignty through which profits derived from data produced by individuals are returned to them
○ The Korean National Assembly met to debate Gyeonggi’s data dividend on February 20, discussing the significance and future of data dividends and data sovereignty
-Governor Lee Jae-myung: “It will impart momentum to the expansion of data dividends to the private sector and the central government.”
-Australian political philosopher Tim Dunlop: “A data dividend is one of the new, practical and innovative ways to accumulate wealth.”

On February 20, Gyeonggi Province became the first local autonomy in the world to implement a data dividend, returning revenue generated from local currency data transactions to local currency users.

A data dividend stems from the concept that, when a company collects and utilizes the data of consumers and generates a profit, it should return a portion of that profit to each consumer who contributed to the production of that data. Gyeonggi Province’s data dividend is regarded to be the world’s first case of data sovereignty through which profits generated from data produced by individual residents are returned to them.

According to Gyeonggi Province, from February 20 to 22, KRW 120 per card was automatically credited to 360,782 local currency card-holding residents in 20 cities and counties in the province (Suwon, Goyang, Yongin, Bucheon, Hwaseong, Namyangju, Pyeongtaek, Paju, Gwangju, Gwangmyeong, Hanam, Osan, Yangju, Icheon, Anseong, Yeoju, Dongducheon, Gwacheon, Yangpyeong, and Gapyeong) who consented to such data usage from April 1 to December 31, 2019.

Although the distributed amount is small, Gyeonggi Province’s data dividend is meaningful in that it provides the first example of a “virtuous data value cycle” that will enable the protection of data sovereignty and the revitalization of local economies by recognizing the rights of data producers and returning profits to them.

On this day when Gyeonggi Province announced data dividend implementation, the National Assembly held a meeting to spread social debate on data sovereignty and to seek strategies to activate data dividends.

At this meeting co-hosted by 11 National Assembly members and co-organized by the Gyeonggi Business and Science Accelerator and the National Information Society Agency, a heated discussion took place on the subject of “Data Dividends and the Meaning and Future of Data Sovereignty”.

At the event, Gyeonggi Province Governor Lee Jae-myung emphasized data sovereignty, saying, “Around the world, data is compared to rice in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. In fact, big IT companies are generating enormous profits using data, but individuals who are the main agents of data production are not receiving the corresponding rewards.”

“Gyeonggi Province’s data dividend is an experiment in the practice of data sovereignty and heralds the beginning of a new era. I expect that it will impart momentum to the expansion of data dividends to other private sectors, from Gyeonggi Province to the whole country, and from local governments to the central government,” added Governor Lee.

The meeting featured presentations on data dividends by three researchers: “Social and Economic Implications of Gyeonggi Province’s Data Dividend” by Tim Dunlop, the author of “The Future of Everything: Big Audacious Ideas for a Better World”; “The Value of Gyeonggi Province’s Data Dividend” by Choi Gyeong-jin, professor of law at Gachon University; and “The Future of Gyeonggi Province’s Data Dividend” by Lee Sung-yun, professor of social welfare at Ewha Womans University.

Dunlop, an Australian political philosopher and advocate of data basic income theory, offered projections on data dividends: “The key issue about future jobs is not simply that robots will take human jobs, but that technological advancements will change the basic attributes of the economy, creating an economy that requires less labor. A data dividend is one of the new, practical and innovative ways to accumulate wealth. Distributing profits derived from data in a fair way through data dividends will become a new, important way to ensure a vibrant economy and a prosperous society in the future.”

The presentations were followed by a debate on the future direction of data dividends in which 11 National Assembly members including Seol Hun, Cho Jeong-sik, Yu Seung-hui, Jeong Seong-ho, Kim Gyeong-hyeop, Kim Yeong-jin, Kim Han-jeong, Baek Hye-ryeon, So Byeong-hun, Shin Chang-hyeon, and Cho Eung-cheon, as well as data industry experts from government and academia, shared their opinions and views.

The participants expected that the amount of dividends to be returned to the public will increase as data transactions are initiated and transaction sizes grow. In preparation for the expected changes, they also discussed preemptive measures such as establishing a legal protection system related to data dividends.