SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Former presidential candidate Andrew Yang joined ABC7 News' Kristen Sze to discuss discuss data compensation and how the novel coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement impacts universal basic income.
Yang campaigned for the idea that the government would send monthly checks to every American adult, no strings attached. Most Americans received stimulus checks amid the pandemic and Yang believes more relief payments are the "direction we need to go."
"74% of Americans think we need emergency cash relief, because the pandemic, unfortunately, is not fading," Yang said. "And Kamala Harris is championing a bill in the Senate that would have $2,000 a month in everyone's hands for the next number of months. And that is the direction we need to go. We have to face facts that we're losing tens of millions of jobs, many of which will not return."
Kristen asked to what effect the Black Lives Matter movement has on UBI and mentioned locally, Oakland's Mayor Libby Schaaf. Schaaf last week mentioned how her city is going to start a UBI pilot.
"So the fact that Libby and other mayors are now championing universal basic income as a means to help create opportunities in their towns and cities. I think is exactly the right move Martin Luther King championed this decades ago. And we have to move his vision further, particularly now when we're facing a great depression if our government does not act in dramatic fashion," Yang said.
In addition to basic income, Yang is proposing that people should be paid for their data that tech companies are currently getting for free.
Yang shared details about his Data Dividend Project, a new movement based on the idea that if we let companies use our data, we should get paid for it.
"There's a new saying that says 'Data is the new oil,'" according to Yang and it is time to take back control of our personal data. Facebook is making tens billions of dollars on advertising to us, which instead could be used as hundreds of dollars for each person a year, Yang explains.
"Why is it that these tech companies are making billions of dollars a year off of our data, and we are not seeing a dime?" Yang said. "I'm happy to say that California is leading the way in activating our data as ours through its new law, the CCPA, which entitles you and everyone in California to know what's happening to your data and to authorize someone to act on your behalf to fight your data rights. And that is what my organization is making possible."
If you want to get a check for your data, Yang advises to go to DDPForAll.com and sign up to fight for your data rights.
Kristen and Yang also discuss the huge frustration for many Americans trying to file for unemployment benefits.
"We are decades behind technology Kristen, and it's a source of frustration to millions of Americans," he says. "You know, I talked to people who are trying to get their unemployment benefits, and they were on hold for hours and hours and days and days. And the obvious question is, why the heck do I have to call a human being to get unemployment benefits? It's 2020. But I get to take care of most of my day to day affairs online, but our government just can't get it done. So this is something that we have to fix. And it will help restore people's confidence in our government because it's very hard to have faith in a government that can deliver on its promises."
Watch the full interview with Andrew Yang in the media player above.