For Immediate Release
August 11, 2022
Accountable Tech co-founder Jesse Lehrich issued the following statement after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it would explore rules to crack down on harmful commercial surveillance and lax data security:
“Today’s announcement by the FTC represents a critical first step toward cracking down on the egregious intrusions and exploitation of the ever-expanding surveillance economy.
Last year, Accountable Tech filed a landmark rulemaking petition urging the Commission to ban surveillance advertising as an unfair method of competition. We detailed the breathtaking scope of data abuses inherent to Big Tech’s business model, and the myriad societal harms it drives – from manipulating consumers and fleecing small businesses, to perpetuating discrimination and preying on children.
But the harms of the broader commercial surveillance complex run even deeper – and they’ve grown more harrowing since the Supreme Court overturned Roe, unleashing a torrent of draconian anti-abortion state laws. The massive troves of personal data that tech companies collect and monetize have now become weapons-in-waiting, readily deployed to help prosecute people for seeking or providing reproductive care.
These corporate abuses of our privacy – infringements on our fundamental rights and freedoms – have flourished and expanded for years without consequence, as our government has failed to enact laws and regulations to protect us. Accountable Tech applauds the FTC’s action today, and will continue to organize and advocate for urgently needed reforms.”