The Mainstream Platforms of Online Surveillance Giants

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This news was covered in Germany — in the public radio service.

However, amnesty.de did not have ANY links to the story. When searching for “amnesty” the mainstream search engines (Google + Bing) only returned amnesty.de results (in the first page / top results). Only DuckDuckGo linked to the amnesty.org website, in the information area at the top right of the SERP.

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These platforms allow people to access them supposedly for free, but instead of charging them a fee they require people to give up their personal data. This is then analysed to aggregate people into groups, and to make predictions about their interests and characteristics – primarily so they can use these insights to generate advertising revenue. The report found that the scale of harvesting and monetising of personal data by these platforms is incompatible with people’s right to privacy.

Even though the main calls in the report are to governments and how they must regulate the industry, it behoves us all to look at the roles we play.

At Amnesty, we are just as dependent on these platforms as big corporations, political parties, and local businesses in order to reach, engage and grow our audiences. The pervasive power of these platforms is exactly why Amnesty has brought out a report…

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