Economic Liberties Applauds FTC Announcement to Explore Rules to Rein In Big Tech Commercial Surveillance
Washington, D.C. — The American Economic Liberties Project released the following statement today in response to the Federal Trade Commission’s announcement that it is exploring rules to crack down on harmful commercial surveillance and lax data security.
“Big Tech companies know that harvesting online information is key to maintaining their dominance, and they’re using our data as a springboard for their market consolidation,” said Morgan Harper, Director of Policy & Advocacy at the American Economic Liberties Project. “With minimal regulation to safeguard our privacy, we now live in a world where tech monopolies know more about ourselves than we do. By keeping users hooked on an eternal stream of sensational content and microtargeted ads, social media giants track our entire online identities — all in the pursuit of their own financial interest. A comprehensive FTC-led rulemaking initiative into the commercial surveillance business — and the algorithmic black boxes that guide them — is urgently needed to promote competitive digital advertising markets and prevent further erosion of our democracy and sense of reality.”
In March 2021, Economic Liberties, along with more than three dozen national and international non-profit organizations – whose advocacy spans from antitrust, corporate accountability, and consumer protection to privacy, civil rights, and counter-disinformation – launched a coalition to ban surveillance advertising. The coalition highlights the litany of harms driven by social media giants’ surveillance advertising business and develops educational materials such as an explainer video, research, and polling.
Learn more about Ban Surveillance Advertising here.
Learn more about Economic Liberties here.
The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.