28 min

Bonus: The Movement to Ban Surveillance Advertising Surveil-links

    • Technology

In surveil-link #120 I highlighted a Wired article reporting on the group behind the website bansurveillanceadvertising.com. A coalition of organizations posted an open letter to the website calling on law makers to ban trageting advertisements shown to a user based on their behavior, browsing habits, purchase history, etc. The business model, perhaps most famously used by Facebook and Google, has recently come under intense scrutiny in both the public and private sectors. Apple soon will roll out prompts on iOS devices asking if a user wants to allow apps to track them. The planned feature has caused quite a feud between Apple and Facebook and their respective CEOs, something I've talked about in surveil-links #10, #20, and #53.

The coalition published the open letter just days before a congressional hearing with the Jack Dorsey, Sundar Pichai, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEOs of Twitter, Google, and Facebook respectively. During the hearing, Representative Anna Eshoo of California, and the congressional representative of both Pichai and Zuckerberg, stated that "Representative Schakowsky and I are doing a bill that is going to ban this business model of surveillance advertising" after calling the practice "dangerous."

I was able to sit down and discuss the letter and Representative Eshoo's comments with Jesse Lehrich, co-founder of Accountable Tech, the nonprofit organization behind the letter. I also got his thoughts on how the events of 2020 particularly brought the issue to the forefront of public dialogue, what he thinks about Facebook defending its surveillance by masquerading as the hero of small business owners, and what he thinks needs to happen in order for enact lasting legislation that addresses the issue effectively. 

What do you think about the idea of banning surveillance advertising? Drop a comment on surveillance.today and let's discuss!

In surveil-link #120 I highlighted a Wired article reporting on the group behind the website bansurveillanceadvertising.com. A coalition of organizations posted an open letter to the website calling on law makers to ban trageting advertisements shown to a user based on their behavior, browsing habits, purchase history, etc. The business model, perhaps most famously used by Facebook and Google, has recently come under intense scrutiny in both the public and private sectors. Apple soon will roll out prompts on iOS devices asking if a user wants to allow apps to track them. The planned feature has caused quite a feud between Apple and Facebook and their respective CEOs, something I've talked about in surveil-links #10, #20, and #53.

The coalition published the open letter just days before a congressional hearing with the Jack Dorsey, Sundar Pichai, and Mark Zuckerberg, CEOs of Twitter, Google, and Facebook respectively. During the hearing, Representative Anna Eshoo of California, and the congressional representative of both Pichai and Zuckerberg, stated that "Representative Schakowsky and I are doing a bill that is going to ban this business model of surveillance advertising" after calling the practice "dangerous."

I was able to sit down and discuss the letter and Representative Eshoo's comments with Jesse Lehrich, co-founder of Accountable Tech, the nonprofit organization behind the letter. I also got his thoughts on how the events of 2020 particularly brought the issue to the forefront of public dialogue, what he thinks about Facebook defending its surveillance by masquerading as the hero of small business owners, and what he thinks needs to happen in order for enact lasting legislation that addresses the issue effectively. 

What do you think about the idea of banning surveillance advertising? Drop a comment on surveillance.today and let's discuss!

28 min

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