Eshoo and Booker Urge FTC Action on Petition to Ban Surveillance Advertising

January 27, 2022
Press Release

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday Rep. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in support of the Petition for Rulemaking by Accountable Tech to prohibit surveillance advertising due to its overwhelming harm to individuals and society.

“Surveillance advertising has been called the Internet’s Original Sin and a ‘time bomb at the heart of the Internet’ that could harm society on the scale of the subprime mortgage crisis. The surveillance advertising business model is premised on the unseemly collection and hoarding of personal data to enable ad targeting,” wrote the lawmakers. “Companies collect huge amounts of data to maximize user engagement because it increases ad revenue. The FTC should evaluate the harms to society and individuals as we believe they vastly outweigh the benefits.”

Last week, Eshoo, Booker and Rep. Jan Schakowsky introduced the Banning Surveillance Advertising Act, legislation that prohibits advertising networks and facilitators from using personal data to target advertisements, with the exception of broad location targeting to a recognized place, such as a municipality.

A PDF of the letter can be found here.