March 16, 2018

So now Brussels wants to join forces with Facebook, Google and alike, in order to also extract value from our personal preferences.

Sir, Mehreen Khan, Alex Barker and Rochelle Toplensky report that “Brussels is thinking about a “levy, which is likely to be set at a rate of 3 per cent… raised against advertising revenues generated by digital companies such as Google…fees raised from users and subscribers to services such as Apple or Spotify, and income made from selling personal data to third parties… it will raise about €5bn a year.” “Brussels proposes levy on Big Tech digital revenues” March 16.

For years I have argued that we users should have right to charge something for our preferences disclosed on the web, not only because that could yield a partial funding of a Universal Basic Income scheme, but, even more importantly, because that would help to limit the bothering and the waste of our limited attention span.

But seemingly Brussels wants to hear nothing about that, they as self appointed redistribution profiteers, want in on that revenue stream.

It is just like if governments, instead of helping to rid ourselves of the fastidious robocalls selling us all kind of products and services, would now share the incentives to push those calls even more.

Sir, though I do not live in Britain, or in Europe for that sake, I was pretty sure I would not vote for a Brexit… but every day that passes, and I read about things like this, the less sure I am of that.