What People Are Saying

"The invisible ‘editors’ of today’s information ecosystem are the opaque algorithms and recommender systems built by tech companies that track and target us. They amplify misogyny, racism, hate, junk science and disinformation – weaponizing every societal fault line with relentless surveillance to maximize “engagement”. This surveillance-for-profit business model is built on the con of our supposed consent…This unethical business model must be reined in globally."

Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov
Nobel Peace laureates

“I am particular about using the right framing because appropriate identification of a problem is key to effective tailoring of solutions. If we are concerned only about privacy… [we may] not look at the economy and society-wide implications of unfettered data collection used to fuel surveillance advertising. I’m interested in seeing us squarely target the business practices that I think are the source of so much harm.”

Rebecca Slaughter
FTC Commissioner

“Our data bodies – or the various information cells that make up how we move and exist online – are under constant threat of surveillance, tracking, trading and selling to the highest bidder. An industry built on monetizing human emotions online has come at the cost of eroding societal values of transparency, fairness, accountability and safety offline. It is time to demand regulators, legislators, and other corners of government band together to ensure our communities are safeguarded from predatory practices like surveillance advertising.”

Brandi Collins-Dexter
Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center

"Surveillance advertising has robbed newspapers, magazines, and independent writers of their livelihoods and commoditized their work – and all we got in return were a couple of abusive monopolists. That's not a good bargain for society. By banning this practice, we will return the unique value of writing, audio, and video to the people who make it rather than those who aggregate it.”

David Heinemeier Hansson
Creator of Ruby on Rails; Founder & CTO at Basecamp & HEY

"As software developers, we recognized the deep harms endemic to the surveillance advertising industry – from malware distribution and slow site performance to algorithmic discrimination and the rampant abuse of personal data – and decided to build an ethical alternative. Our ad network depends exclusively on contextual targeting, and with over 100 advertisers and publishers thriving in this ecosystem, we are proving that surveillance-free models can work for all involved."

Eric Holscher
Co-founder of EthicalAds & Read the Docs

"The creation of so many modern harms – from the violent extremism growing in our societies to anti vaxx misinformation – is rooted in Facebook and Google's toxic addiction to surveillance advertising. Ending invasive snooping on users and the sale of users' intimate thoughts and feelings to advertisers would remove the financial incentives that drive so much online and offline harm."

Imran Ahmed
CEO of Center for Countering Digital Hate

“Tech companies continually fail to center their policies on protecting the vast majority of their users from hate, harassment, and harm. Because to do so would curb their ability to make a profit under their current business model. The Ban Surveillance Advertising campaign goes right to the heart of this problem. It's long past time for Big Tech to stop exploiting extremism and disinformation for profit. We need to hold them accountable.”

Melissa Ryan
Editor of Ctrl Alt-Right Delete; CEO of CARD Strategies

“‘Big Social’s attention-based business model creates addicts of its users to drive advertising revenue. Addiction occurs because the finely-tuned algorithms on these platforms prioritize extreme, controversial, and polarizing content proven to keep us scrolling and sharing. The consequences of social media overuse have been severe and include dramatic increases in depression and suicide.”

Tim Kendall
CEO of Moment; former Director of Monetization at Facebook

“Data surveillance has become an increasingly harmful tool that lines the pockets of tech executives at the expense of our privacy, safety and security. In order to keep on hauling more profits, Big Tech wants to keep Americans addicted to their devices feeding people content that is extreme in nature. As we have seen in the last year, this creates irreparable harms in our communities and our democracy. Big Tech must stop this practice.”

Vanessa Cardenas
Strategic Victory Fund Disinformation Defense Project

"Facebook and Google possess enormous monopoly power, combined with the surveillance regimes of authoritarian states and the addiction business model of cigarettes. Congress has broad authority to regulate their business models and should use it to ban them from engaging in surveillance advertising."

Zephyr Teachout
Associate Professor of Law at Fordham Law School