News

The Drum

Understanding Apple iOS 15’s ‘Private Relay,’ ‘Hide My Email’ & Other Privacy Updates

June 9, 2021

In many circles, the targeted ads debate has moved from opt in or out to serious debate over banning ‘surveillance advertising’. Those who see a role for responsible uses of data for marketing should recognize the major efforts needed to respond to concerns.

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The Markup

How Big Pharma Finds Sick Users on Facebook

May 6, 2021

Though Facebook does not offer advertisers categories that explicitly identify people’s health conditions, The Markup identified dozens of ads for prescription pharmaceuticals targeted at people with “interests” in topics like “bourbon,” “oxygen,” and “Diabetes mellitus awareness.”

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Press Release

Coalition Launches ‘Opt Out’ Campaign as Apple Updates Tracking Policies

April 19, 2021

In advance of Apple’s software update requiring apps to ask users for permission to track their behavior across other apps and websites, the Ban Surveillance Advertising coalition is launching a grassroots education and mobilization campaign urging consumers to opt out of this immoral practice.

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ProPublica

“I Felt Hate More Than Anything”: How an Active Duty Airman Tried to Start a Civil War

April 13, 2021

Prosecutors allege, he bought a $15 device that converts AR-15 semiautomatic rifles into fully automatic machine guns, making the purchase through a website that advertised to Boogaloo Facebook groups and promised to donate some of its profits to the family of Duncan Lemp, who became a Boogaloo martyr after he was killed in a police raid.

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Buzzfeed

Despite Ban, Facebook Continued To Label People As Interested In Militias For Advertisers

April 7, 2021

For months after it banned violent extremist groups, Facebook's advertising preference system, which lets advertisers deliver targeted ads, continued to identify and categorize some people as interested in militias.

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Media Post

Lawmakers Ready Bill To Ban 'Surveillance Advertising'

March 25, 2021

Democratic lawmakers are readying a bill to ban “surveillance advertising,” Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-California) said Thursday at a House hearing. “Your algorithms use unseemly amounts of data to keep users on your platform, because that leads to more ad revenue,” Eshoo told Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the hearing, “Disinformation Nation: Social Media's Role in Promoting Extremism and Disinformation.”

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The American Prospect

The Growing Movement to End the Surveillance Economy

March 24, 2021

Thirty-eight different advocacy organizations have come together to Ban Surveillance Advertising. They argue that as long as social media platforms profit from collecting more user data—so they can use it to target ads—then they will do whatever possible to hook and keep users on their sites, amplifying “echo chambers, radicalization, and viral lies.”

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WIRED

This Group Wants to ‘Ban Surveillance Advertising’

March 22, 2021

When the CEOs of Facebook, Twitter, and Google testify later this week at a House hearing, a number of familiar policy reforms will be on the table. Antitrust. Section 230. Privacy legislation. A new campaign wants to add another bold idea into the mix: “Ban Surveillance Advertising.”

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Tech Crunch

US Privacy, Consumer, Competition and Civil Rights Groups Urge Ban on ‘Surveillance Advertising’

March 22, 2021

Ahead of another big tech vs Congress ‘grab your popcorn’ grilling session, scheduled for March 25 — when US lawmakers will once again question the CEOs of Facebook, Google and Twitter on the unlovely topic of misinformation — a coalition of organizations across the privacy, antitrust, consumer protection and civil rights spaces has called for a ban on “surveillance advertising”, further amplifying the argument that “big tech’s toxic business model is undermining democracy”.

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NBC News

Big Tech’s Critics Have Organized for Years. Now, Some Are Speaking With One Voice

March 22, 2021

Dozens of progressive groups said Monday they were banding together in a new coalition to counter the influence of Big Tech — and they will first aim at the targeted advertising that’s the lifeblood of Facebook and Google.

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The Hill

New Coalition Launches Against 'Surveillance Advertising'

March 22, 2021

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.

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B&T

Over 4,000 Brands Bought Programmatic Ads on COVID-19 Misinformation Websites

February 19, 2021

NewsGuard reported that in most cases, the advertisements were likely inadvertent, placed by algorithms on programmatic ad-buying platforms like Google’s DV360 rather than intentionally by the brands involved... NewsGuard said the data demonstrate the vast scale at which programmatic advertising supports the online misinformation ecosystem.

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The Verge

Facebook Employee Warned it Used ‘Deeply Wrong’ Ad Metrics to Boost Revenue

February 18, 2021

The lawsuit claims that Facebook knowingly overestimated its 'potential reach' metric for advertisers, largely by failing to correct for fake and duplicate accounts. The filing states that Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg acknowledged problems with the metric in 2017, and product manager Yaron Fidler proposed a fix that would correct the numbers. But the company allegedly refused to make the changes, arguing that it would produce a 'significant' impact on revenue.

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The New York Times

Investors Push Home Depot and Omnicom to Steer Ads From Misinformation

January 18, 2021

Shareholders in Home Depot and the advertising giant Omnicom have filed resolutions asking the companies to investigate whether the money they spent on advertisements may have helped spread hate speech and misinformation.

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BuzzFeed

Facebook Has Been Showing Military Gear Ads Next To Insurrection Posts

January 12, 2021

‘Facebook has spent years facilitating fringe voices who use the platform to organize and amplify calls for violence,’ said TTP Director Katie Paul. ‘As if that weren't enough, Facebook's advertising microtargeting is directing domestic extremists toward weapons accessories and armor that can make their militarized efforts more effective, all while Facebook profits.’

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