In a new report, the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) sheds light on the negative consequences that this commercial surveillance has on consumers and society. Together with DataEthics.eu and multiple other organizations and experts, NCC is asking authorities on both sides of the Atlantic to consider a ban. In Europe, the upcoming Digital Services Act can lay the legal framework to do so. In the US, legislators should seize the opportunity to enact comprehensive privacy legislation that protects consumers.
In the call to ban third-party tracking, seven serious consequences are listed:
Companies with comprehensive and intimate knowledge about us can shape their messages in attempts to reach us when we are susceptible, for example to influence elections or to advertise weight loss products, unhealthy food or gambling.
The opacity and automation of surveillance-based advertising systems increase the risk of discrimination, for example by excluding consumers based on income, gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation, location, or by making certain consumers pay more for products or services.
The lack of control over where ads are shown can promote and finance false or malicious content. This also poses significant challenges to publishers and advertisers regarding revenue, reputational damage, and opaque supply chains.
4. Undermining competition
The surveillance business model favours companies that collect and process information across different services and platforms. This makes it difficult for smaller actors to compete, and negatively impacts companies that respect consumers’ fundamental rights.
5. Security risks
When thousands of companies collect and process enormous amounts of personal data, the risk of identity theft, fraud and blackmail increases. NATO has described this data collection as a national security risk.
6. Privacy violations
The collection and use of personal data is happening with little or no control, both by large companies and by companies that are unknown to most consumers. Consumers have no way to know what data is collected, who the information is shared with, and how it may be used.
From DataEthics.eu a good advice as long as we wait for the ban. Ban Google Chrome browser and use Firefox, Safari, Apple, Vivaldi and Tor in stead. They are all blocking the invasive tracking by default.
Get the full report here: Time to Ban Surveillance-Based Advertising
Signatories to #BanSurveillanceAdvertising