Big tech critics join against ‘surveillance advertising’
Thirty-plus privacy, consumer and anti-monopoly groups are coming together to stop big tech platforms from tracking and categorizing individuals for the purpose of narrowly targeting advertising.
The broad coalition, launched Monday, is calling for a ban on the practice they term “surveillance advertising.”
What is “surveillance advertising”? “Behavioral advertising, targeted advertising, what Facebook has tried to describe as personalized advertising, really feels like they’re trying to describe it as if they’re doing us a favor, when in reality they are extracting our data, they’re exploiting us and they’re selling us to advertisers,” said Rishi Bharwani, director of partnerships and policy at Accountable Tech, one of the member groups.
“So we just thought it was a more appropriate term,” he explained to The Hill.
The coalition argues that the data collection and advertising practices of the biggest platforms — specifically Facebook and Google, which are the two dominant players in the digital advertising space — increase the spread of misinformation, hate speech and extremism by incentivizing the companies to try to keep users engaged and online as much as possible.