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US introduces privacy bill to ban online ‘surveillance advertising’

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The US has unveiled a new privacy bill that would ban targeted advertising on digital platforms by social media giants like Meta (formerly Facebook), Google and others.

The bill allows users to sue platforms like Facebook and Google if they break the law, granting up to $5,000 in relief per violation.

Titled ‘The Banning Surveillance Advertising Act’, the bill seeks to limit the ways that Big Tech serve ads to their users.

It, however, makes some small exceptions, like allowing for “broad” location-based targeting and “contextual advertising”, reports The Verge.

“The ‘surveillance advertising’ business model is premised on the unseemly collection and hoarding of personal data to enable ad targeting,” Anna Eshoo (D-CA), the bill’s lead sponsor, said in a statement.

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“This pernicious practice allows online platforms to chase user engagement at great cost to our society, and it fuels disinformation, discrimination, voter suppression, privacy abuses, and so many other harms. The surveillance advertising business model is broken,” Eshoo said late on Tuesday.

Any targeting based on “protected class information, such as race, gender, and religion, and personal data purchased from data brokers” would not be allowed.



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