Privacy-Focused Tech Companies Call For Ban On Targeted Advertising
A group of privacy-focused tech companies including DuckDuckGo, Vivaldi, and the company that makes Protonmail are calling for a broad ban on targeted, “surveillance-based” advertising. Motherboard reports: “Although we recognize that advertising is an important source of revenue for content creators and publishers online, this does not justify the massive commercial surveillance systems set up in attempts to ‘show the right ad to the right people,'” the letter reads. The letter urges lawmakers in the United States and European Union to enact data protection laws that could protect consumers from the “privacy-hostile” practices that many companies turn to for their advertising. It explains that exploiting users’ privacy for the sake of personalized ads is not necessary for companies to be profitable.

Many of the signatories, including Proton Technologies and DuckDuckGo, already prioritize data protection in their services. Mojeek, an independent search engine, posted in 2006 about its efforts to avoid using “big brother tactics” and collecting personal user data in order to make money. Many of these companies make money by advertising, but the advertising is “contextual” rather than targeted. For a search engine, this means that an advertiser can buy ads that show up when a user searches a specific term. This is different from targeted advertising, which in this example could potentially take into account a user’s search history, their demographic and biographic info, their web browsing history, their geographic location, etc.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Author Of this post: BeauHD

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