Why the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) Could Expand NSA and Other Governmental and Commercial Surveillance on Citizens

U.S. online marketing companies are pioneering the dramatic expansion of data collection throughout the world, as they gather, analyze, and make actionable all of our information. Giants such as Google and Facebook effectively become “private NSAs”—tracking us on social media, mobile devices, search engines, online games, and increasingly even when we are in the grocery or department store. Telephone companies involved with the NSA’s “bulk” data-collection program are expanding their own data gathering on the Internet and mobile devices as well. This information is used to create dossiers—online targeting profiles—on individuals. While U.S. online data companies will claim that all this information is used primarily for selling and interactive advertising, in reality it’s connected to a powerful system that uses personal data to make decisions about us in order to influence our behaviors.

This handout is designed for a “Teach-in” held on December 17” on the impact of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). It discusses the relationship between NSA and U.S. commercial online data company practices.