Despite countless scandals and years of civil society pressure, U.S. policymakers are still failing to protect our data online.
When platforms extract our information, they can also weaponize it against us, leading to harmful microtargeting — from recommending content full of hate and conspiracy theories to serving ads that exploit our most intimate secrets — that undermines democracy and public health. And for people already experiencing marginalization and discrimination, particularly communities of color, Big Tech’s privacy-violating practices further perpetuate and intensify ongoing harm.
These companies wreak havoc by slurping up vast swaths of information about us. Our data fuels their toxic hate-and-lie-for-profit business model. So, without someone reining these companies in, they’ll continue to cause systemic harms that disproportionately impact marginalized groups in the U.S. and all across the globe. And despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of people using social media live outside the United States — for Facebook, the U.S. only represents about 10% of total accounts — these companies are disproportionately concerned with how they’re perceived and regulated in that market.
It’s time for U.S. policymakers to step up. Both U.S. Senators and a coalition of public interest advocates are urging the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create new data protection rules to protect all of us online, and we need your help to amplify the call. Such rules could more holistically and comprehensively regulate tech companies to protect our privacy and civil rights. The FTC is in a strong position to hold these companies to account, but if the agency doesn’t take a stand, platforms will continue to violate our human rights in the U.S. and around the world.
Sign the petition today to send a message alongside U.S. Senators and over forty organizations to FTC Chair Lina Khan that we need her to take action immediately. The U.S. has a rare window of opportunity right now to set a global precedent for combatting abuse online — and we have no time to waste.