Sponsors claim that targeted advertising "causes irreparable harm to consumers, businesses, and our democracy."
Congresswomen Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), along with Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) yesterday introduced into Congress the "Banning Surveillance Advertising Act" which would prohibit advertising networks and "facilitators" from using personal data to target most advertisements, and from targeting ads on the basis of "protected class information" including race, sex, religion and personal data purchased from data brokers.
The bill is supported by public-interest organizations including Accountable Tech, the Anti-Defamation League and the Consumer Federation of America, as well as by owners of Google competitor the DuckDuckGo search engine, and the creators of Proton Mail.
Language of the bill would expressly prohibit advertising based on "data linked or reasonably linkable to an individual or connected device, including inferred and derived data, contents of communications, internet browsing history, and advertising identifiers." The FTC and states attorneys general would be empowered to assess fines of up to $5000 per incident of violation.
Passage of this bill would be quite detrimental to companies like Google, Facebook and data brokers that make most of their money from targeted ads.
According to a Google statement, adverse impacts on the search giant and its users would include the inability to:
- Display directions from Google Maps in search results
- Answer urgent questions
- Highlight business information when someone searches for a local business
- Integrate its various products like Gmail, Calendar and Docs
General feeling in the ad industry seems to be that this bill won't fly as written, won't produce the legislators' intended end result, and if passed will throw the marketing industry into chaos.
Stay tuned for updates.
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