CDD protects the interests of young people, through its work to ensure compliance with the law it helped pass--the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Beyond children’s privacy, CDD is committed to ensuring children and teens are treated fairly in the commercial online marketplace, where they are subjected to a torrent of powerful ads for junk food and other products.

  • Groups tell FTC: End all surveillance advertising & marketing to individuals under 18

    By: Jeff Chester | Nov 22 2022

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    Coalition of child advocacy, health, safety, privacy and consumer organization document how data-driven marketing undermines privacy and welfare of young people

    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.

    Date

    Monday, November 21, 2022
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  • Data-driven Health Marketing Surveillance in the U.S.

    By: Jeff Chester | Nov 21 2022

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    Sub-title

    FTC Commercial Surveillance Filing from CDD focuses on how pharma & other health marketers target consumers, patients, prescribers

    “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.

    Date

    Monday, November 21, 2022
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  • Despite Flurry of New Safety Features, Social Media Platforms Still Not Doing Enough to Protect Children, CDD Report Finds

    By: Jeff Chester | Nov 16 2022

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    Government Needs to Step up its Efforts to Provide Meaningful and Effective Regulation

    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.

    Date

    Wednesday, November 16, 2022
    Read more
  • Regulating digital marketing of alcohol: challenges and opportunities

    By: Jeff Chester | Oct 14 2022

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    Discussion by Jeff Chester at the Global Alcohol Policy Alliance

    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.

    Date

    Friday, October 14, 2022
    Read more
  • Advocates urge Congress to push children’s internet protections across the finish line

    Sep 13 2022

    A coalition of more than 100 organizations is sending two letters to Congress urging action. A letter addressed to Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, from 145 organizations, urges them to advance KOSA and COPPA to full Senate votes. A letter addressed to House Energy and Commerce Chair Frank Pallone and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers, from 158 organizations, urges them to introduce a House companion bill to KOSA.

    Date

    Tuesday, September 13, 2022
    Read more
  • Protecting Children and Teens from Unfair and Deceptive Marketing, including Stealth Advertising

    By: Jeff Chester | Jul 19 2022

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    CDD Comments to FTC for "Stealth" Marketing Inquiry
    Read more
  • Surveillance Marketing 2.0

    By: Jeff Chester | Jun 30 2022

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    Considering Privacy Legislation in the context of contemporary digital data marketing practices

    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-

    Date

    Thursday, June 30, 2022
    Read more
  • Advocates call on FTC to investigate manipulative design abuses in popular FIFA game

    Jun 2 2022

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    Groups say FIFA: Ultimate Team preys on children’s vulnerability with loot boxes, “funny money

    Contact:

    David Monahan, Fairplay david@fairplayforkids.org
    Jeff Chester, CDD jeff@democraticmedia.org; 202-494-7100

    Advocates call on FTC to investigate manipulative design abuses in popular FIFA game
    Groups say FIFA: Ultimate Team preys on children’s vulnerability with loot boxes, “funny money”

    Date

    Thursday, June 2, 2022
    Read more
  • FTC Should tell Microsoft that it’s “Game Over” with its plans to buy Activision Blizzard

    By: Jeff Chester | Mar 22 2022

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    Deal reflects Big Tech move to grab more data for omnipresent tracking & targeting

    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.

    Date

    Tuesday, March 22, 2022
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  • Diverse Coalition of Advocates Urges Congress to Pass Legislation to Protect Kids and Teens Online

    Mar 22 2022

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    60 leading advocacy organizations say unregulated Big Tech business model is “fundamentally at odds with children’s wellbeing”

    Contact:

    David Monahan, Fairplay david@fairplayforkids.org

    Jeff Chester, Center for Digital Democracy, jeff@democraticmedia.org, 202-494-7100

    Diverse coalition of advocates urges Congress to pass legislation to protect kids and teens online
    60 leading advocacy organizations say unregulated Big Tech business model is “fundamentally at odds with children’s wellbeing”

    Date

    Tuesday, March 22, 2022
    Read more
  • FTC Should Examine Microsoft-Activision Deal, Consumer, Privacy, Labor, Repair Groups Say

    By: Jeff Chester | Mar 1 2022

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    Microsoft's further expansion into gaming, data gathering, digital marketing must trigger close scrutiny, inc. impacts on gamers, youth

    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).

    Date

    Tuesday, March 1, 2022
    Read more
  • FTC Should Examine Microsoft-Activision Deal, Consumer, Privacy, Labor, Repair Groups Say

    By: Jeff Chester | Mar 1 2022

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    Sub-title

    Microsoft's further expansion into gaming, data gathering, digital marketing must trigger close scrutiny, inc. impacts on gamers, youth

    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).

    Date

    Tuesday, March 1, 2022
    Read more
  • Call For an End to Manipulation, Exploitation, and Discrimination of Children and Teens via Surveillance Advertising

    Jan 26 2022

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    CDD and Advocates Call on the FTC to Begin Rulemaking to Prohibit Surveillance Advertising

    January 26, 2022

    Federal Trade Commission

    Office of the Secretary

    600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

    Washington, DC 20580

    Re: Comment on Petition for Rulemaking by Accountable Tech, FTC-2021-0070 

    INTRODUCTION

    Date

    Wednesday, January 26, 2022
    Read more
  • CDD Tells FTC It's Time to Regulate Commercial Surveillance Marketing

    By: Jeff Chester | Jan 26 2022

    Sub-title

    Documents 25 years of failures by agency to rein in practices that have eviscerated privacy and consumer protection in the U.S. and globally
    Date

    Wednesday, January 26, 2022
    Read more
  • CDD 2007 Warning to FTC on Threats to Democracy, Privacy and Consumers from Surveillance Marketing

    By: Jeff Chester | Jan 20 2022

    Sub-title

    Jeff Chester presentation illustrates agency failures to ensure equitable digital media system

    Transcript

    Ehavioral Advertising: Tracking, Targeting & Technology, Federal Trade Commission, November 1, 2007

    Date

    Thursday, January 20, 2022
    Read more
  • Leading Advocates Launch Push For Design Code To Protect Kids Online

    Dec 2 2021

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    Groups urge Congress to stop Big Tech’s manipulation of young people

    BOSTON – Thursday, December 2, 2021 – Today a coalition of leading advocacy groups launched Designed With Kids in Mind, a campaign demanding a design code in the US to protect young people from online manipulation and harm. The campaign seeks to secure protections for US children and teens similar to the UK’s groundbreaking Age-Appropriate Design Code (AADC), which went into effect earlier this year. 

     

    Date

    Thursday, December 2, 2021
    Read more
  • We Can’t Let the Surveillance Ad Industry Create the new Rules for Privacy

    By: Jeff Chester | Oct 17 2021

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    Time for the FTC to intervene as marketers create new ways to leverage our “identity” data as cookies “crumble”

    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.

    Date

    Sunday, October 17, 2021
    Read more
  • Advocates Ask FTC to Protect Youth From Manipulative “Dark Patterns” Online

    May 28 2021

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    Contact:

    Jeff Chester, CDD (jeff@democraticmedia.org; 202-494-7100)

    David Monahan, CCFC (david@commercialfreechildhood.org;)

    Advocates Ask FTC to Protect Youth From Manipulative “Dark Patterns” Online

    Date

    Friday, May 28, 2021
    Read more
  • “Big Food” and “Big Data” Online Platforms Fueling Youth Obesity Crisis as Coronavirus Pandemic Rages

    May 12 2021

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    New Report Calls for Action to Address Saturation of Social Media, Gaming Platforms, and Streaming Video with Unhealthy Food and Beverage Products

    The coronavirus pandemic triggered a dramatic increase in online use. Children and teens whose schools have closed relied on YouTube for educational videos, attending virtual classes on Zoom and Google Classroom, and flocking to TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram for entertainment and social interaction. This constant immersion in digital culture has exposed them to a steady flow of marketing for fast foods, soft drinks, and other unhealthy products, much of it under the radar of parents and teachers.

    Read more
  • Advocates say Google Play continues to disregard children’s privacy law and urge FTC to act

    Apr 1 2021

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    Contact:

    Jeff Chester, CDD jeff@democraticmedia.org; 202-494-7100

    David Monahan, CCFC, david@commercialfreechildhood.org

    Advocates say Google Play continues to disregard children’s privacy law and urge FTC to act

    Date

    Wednesday, March 31, 2021
    Read more