By: Jeff Chester | Nov 22 2022
Children and teenagers experience widespread commercial surveillance practices to collect data used to target them with marketing. Targeted and personalized advertising remains the dominant business model for digital media, with the marketing and advertising industry identifying children and teens as a prime target. Minors are relentlessly pursued while, simultaneously, they are spending more time online than ever before. Children’s lives are filled with surveillance, involving the collection of vast amounts of personal data of online users.
By: Jeff Chester | Nov 21 2022
“Acute Myeloid Lymphoma,” “ADHD,” “Brain Cancer,” “High Cholesterol,” “Lung Cancer,” “Overweight,” “Pregnancy,” “Rheumatoid Arthritis,” “Stroke,” and “Thyroid Cancer.” These are just a handful of the digitally targetable medical condition “audience segments” available to surveillance advertisers While health and medical condition marketers—including pharmaceutical companies and drug store chains—may claim that such commercial data-driven marketing is “privacy-compliant,” in truth it reveals how vulnerable U.S.
By: Jeff Chester | Nov 16 2022
Under intensifying pressure from Congress and the public, top social media platforms popular with young people – Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube – have launched dozens of new safety features for children and teens in the last year, according to a report from the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD). Researchers at CDD conducted an analysis of tech industry strategies to head off regulation in the wake of the 2021 Facebook whistleblower revelations and the rising tide of public criticism, Congressional hearings, and pressures from abroad.
By: Jeff Chester | Nov 1 2022
Televisions now view and analyze us—the programs we watch, what shows we click on to consider or save, and the content reflected on the “glass” of our screens. On “smart” or connected TVs, streaming TV applications have been engineered to fully deliver the forces of commercial surveillance.
By: Jeff Chester | Oct 14 2022
Alcohol Marketers are now big data companies. They are also commercial surveillance marketing enterprises, which is how data driven digital marketing is increasingly described by regulators and critics. Like many other global industries, alcohol marketing uses an ever expanding set of diverse and sophisticated online and offline techniques designed to identify and deeply influence its target audiences. Alcoholic beverage companies have broadly adopted the business model and tactics perfected by Google, Meta/Facebook, and Amazon.
By: Jeff Chester | Jun 30 2022
Last week, the leading global advertisers, online platforms and data marketers gathered for the most important awards given by the ad industry—the “Cannes Lions.” Reviewing the winners and the “shortlist” of runners-up—competing in categories such as “Creative Data,” “Social and Influencer,” “Brand Experience & Activation,” “Creative Commerce” and “Mobile”—is essential to learn where the data-
By: Jeff Chester | Mar 22 2022
Microsoft is rapidly expanding its surveillance advertising complex—first acquiring AT&T’s powerful Xandr targeting system last December, and adding a few weeks later the online gaming and eSports giant Activision Blizzard.
By: Jeff Chester | Mar 1 2022
Microsoft’s proposed purchase of Activision-Blizzard raises serious red flags, Public Citizen, the Center for Digital Democracy, the Repair Association, the Communications Workers of America, and 11 additional groups said today in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Feb 3 2022
See PDF of full letter below.
By: Jeff Chester | Jan 26 2022
By: Jeff Chester | Jan 20 2022
Ehavioral Advertising: Tracking, Targeting & Technology, Federal Trade Commission, November 1, 2007
Jan 19 2022
Washington, DC 1-18-2022
By: Jeff Chester | Dec 21 2021
By: Jeff Chester | Oct 17 2021
For decades, the U.S. has allowed private actors to basically create the rules regarding how our data is gathered and used online. A key reason that we do not have any real privacy for digital media is precisely because it has principally been online marketing interests that have shaped how the devices, platforms and applications we use ensnare us in the commercial surveillance complex.
By: Jeff Chester | Sep 22 2021
There is a digital data “gold rush” fever sweeping the data and marketing industry, as the quest to find ways to use data to determine a person’s “identity” for online marketing becomes paramount. This is triggered, in part, by the moves made by Google and others to replace “cookies” and other online identifiers with new, allegedly pro-privacy data-profiling methods to get the same results. We’ve addressed this privacy charade in other posts.
By: Jeff Chester | Aug 10 2021
Online grocery shopping became a pandemic response necessity for those who could afford it, with revenues to exceed $100 billion in 2021. Leading supermarket chains such as Kroger, big box stores like Walmart, online specialist companies such as Instacart, and the ubiquitous Amazon, have all experienced greater demand from the public to have groceries ordered and then quickly delivered or available for pick up.
Aug 4 2021
CDD joins 23 other public interest, consumer advocacy, and civil rights groups in a letter urging the Federal Trade Commission to protect civil rights and privacy in the digital economy by initiating a new rulemaking, creating an Office of Civil Rights, and committing more resources to enforce against unfair and deceptive practices.
By: Jeff Chester | Jul 13 2021
The Trade Desk is a leading AdTech company, providing data-driven digital advertising services to major brands and agencies.
Jun 23 2021
International coalition calls for action against surveillance-based advertising