TACD Calls for Ban on Surveillance Advertising

June 3, 2022

The Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue, a forum of U.S. and EU digital and consumer protection organizations, has put forth a policy resolution calling for a full ban on surveillance-based advertising. The policy resolution identifies both the current prominence of this marketing model and the specific privacy and human rights risks it poses, including damaging privacy and economic equity rights, undermining marketplace competition, increasing risks of manipulation and discrimination, and stifling democratic discourse. The resolution concludes that the combination of the harms of the model, the inability of consumers to reasonably avoid participating in the surveillance-based advertising ecosystem, the lack of benefits compared to the harms, and failure of mitigating methods to meaningfully address the risks necessitates a full ban on surveillance-based advertising.

EPIC has consistently drawn attention to the dangers of surveillance-based advertising, noting that lack of adequate regulation in this space has allowed advertising to become a surveillance machine, voicing support for the proposed Ban Surveillance Advertising Act, calling for a Federal Trade Commission rulemaking to address surveillance advertising, and joining in deletion requests on surveillance advertising data collected using the IAB Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF) in the wake of a Belgian decision ruling that the system violates the GDPR.

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