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YOUR VOICE DELIVERED: More than 3,000 speak out in the US against digital advertising!

Data brokers and advertisers prey upon our sensitive data and our community is sick of it.

In response to digital data harvesting  – the use of intimate personal data to influence behavior in ways that are often unfair and harmful – more than 3,000 OpenMedia community members in the United States submitted comments to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Our community members are standing up against the unregulated ability of data brokers and digital advertisers to collect, purchase, sell and use personal data.

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This is one of the ways that the OpenMedia community is pushing back against the ways digital advertising is subtly eroding our right to self determination and simple, fair market pricing.

Today’s Internet is built on an advertising industry that relies on the secret trade of our sensitive data. Race, age, religion, health, politics, sexual orientation – these are just commodities to advertisers. The unregulated, mass collection of this data gives advertisers a growing ability to influence our behavior in harmful ways. Online advertising is fundamentally linked to a lack of consent; we have no ability to see what these data brokers know about us and what they’re doing with that information.

Remember the 1980s hit song, ‘Somebody’s Watching Me’? The chorus could be written about today’s digital advertising industry: “I always feel like somebody’s watching me, and I have no privacy … I always feel like somebody’s watching me, who’s playing tricks on me.” Like magicians, digital advertisers hold all the cards and have the decks stacked against us.

In a traditional, free market economy, individuals are supposed to have the right to make independent choices about what products and services they purchase. These are the necessary preconditions to a free and informed consumer transaction – which is exactly what the FTC was established to protect. But data brokers use our information to build something far more sinister: an online economy that presents us with predisposed options based upon information they have collected about us without our consent.

This opportunity to submit comments to the FTC about digital advertising has now closed, but to help stop the harvest of personal data and to stay informed about this campaign, sign the petition.

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