Mar 31 2020
By Jeffrey Chester
The COVID-19 pandemic is a profound global public health crisis that requires our upmost attention: to stem its deadly tide and rebuild the global health system so we do not experience such a dire situation in the future. It also demands that we ensure the U.S. has a digital media system that is democratic, accountable, and one that both provides public services and protects privacy.
By: Jeff Chester | Feb 7 2020
Google’s (i.e., Alphabet, Inc.) proposed acquisition of Fitbit, a leading health wearable device company, is just one more piece illustrating how the company is actively engaged in shaping the future of public health.
By: Jeff Chester | Jan 15 2020
A new report on how political marketing insiders and platforms such as Facebook view the “ethical” issues raised by the role of digital marketing in elections illustrates why advocates and others concerned about election integrity should make this issue a public-policy priority. We cannot afford to leave it in the hands of “Politech” firms and political campaign professionals, who appear unable to acknowledge the consequences to democracy of their unfettered use of powerful data-driven online-marketing applications.
Dec 18 2019
Jeff Chester, CDD (email@example.com; 202-494-7100)
David Monahan, CCFC (firstname.lastname@example.org; 617-896-9397)
Groups Praise Sen. Markey and Google
for Ensuring Children on YouTube Receive Key Safeguards
Nov 27 2019
In the aftermath of Google’s settlement with the FTC over its COPPA violations, some independent content producers on YouTube have expressed unhappiness with the decision. They are unclear how to comply with COPPA, and believe their revenue will diminish considerably.
Nov 20 2019
Big Tech companies are lobbying to undermine the only federal online privacy law in the US – one which protects children--and we need your help to stop them. Along with the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), we ask for your help to urge the Federal Trade Commission to strengthen—not weaken—the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). Please sign this petition because your voice is essential to a future where children’s privacy is protected from marketers and others.
Oct 8 2019
Most parents can tell you the most popular website for kids is YouTube. But for years, while Google made millions luring children to YouTube, vacuuming up their sensitive information, and using it to target them with ads, Google told the Big Lie: “YouTube is not for kids. It says so right in our terms of service.”
That has now changed, thanks to the advocacy of Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the support of a coalition of advocacy groups.
By: Jeff Chester | Sep 11 2019
I played a key role helping get the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) passed by Congress in 1998 (when I was executive director of the Center for Media Education). Since then, I have tried to ensure that the country’s only federal law addressing commercial privacy online was taken seriously.
By: Jeff Chester | Aug 2 2019
By: Jeff Chester | Jul 22 2019
Proposed Consent Order Penalties and Conditions
The FTC should seek a 20-year consent decree which includes the following forms of relief:
By: Jeff Chester | Jul 17 2019
Today, the FTC announced plans to review the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) rules. CDD and allies successfully campaigned to have the law's rules expanded in 2012, to ensure that the privacy of children 12 and under was better protected in today's "Big Data" driven cross-device environment.
By: Katharina Kopp | Oct 9 2018
The Center for Digital Democracy provides the following recommendations for comprehensive baseline Federal privacy legislation. We are building on our expertise addressing digital marketplace developments for more than two decades, including work leading to the enactment of the 1998 Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act--the only federal online privacy law in the United States. Our recommendations are also informed by our long-standing trans-Atlantic work with consumer and privacy advocates in Europe, as well as the General Data Protection Regulation.
By: Jeff Chester | Mar 30 2018
A digital “great awakening” has occurred with unprecedented global attention given to the commercial surveillance business model at the core of our collective digital experience.
By: Jeff Chester | Mar 8 2018
Internet service provider (ISP) giants, which dominant how Americans gain access to broadband Internet, cable TV, streaming video, and other telecommunications services, are aggressively expanding their capabilities to gather and use personal data. Leading ISPs AT&T, Comcast and Verizon are taking full advantage of all information flowing from PC’s, mobile phones, set-top boxes, and other devices.
By: Katharina Kopp | Feb 20 2018
Around the world citizens and governments are putting efforts toward limiting the marketing of unhealthy foods to children in order to address the growing obesity epidemic worldwide.
By: Jeff Chester | Jan 20 2018
Computational politics—the application of digital targeted-marketing technologies to election campaigns in the US and elsewhere—are now raising the same concerns for democratic discourse and governance that they have long raised for consumer privacy and welfare in the commercial marketplace. This paper examines the digital strategies and technologies of today’s political operations, explaining how they were employed during the most recent US election cycle, and exploring the implications of their continued use in the civic context.
By: Jeff Chester | Sep 28 2017
Targeted TV ad company Simulmedia is partnering with Oracle Data Cloud, a data service company, to target advertisements to consumers based on their in-store purchases.
By: Jeff Chester | Sep 13 2017
Key control of multiple devices, including TV. ISPs have positioned themselves to expand their consumer data collection across all the devices/platforms they operate. This includes broadband connections (including streaming media), mobile devices, PCs, and also TV. Unlike Google and Facebook, the cable and telephone ISPs largely control the TV set. Comcast has enabled its NBC division to use its set-top box data for targeting, for example.
“Marketers. Ready, aim, engage! It is easier than ever to hit the right marketing targets,” explains Equifax about its far-reaching data capabilities that capture, analyze, and sell our information. Equifax’s admission last week about its loss of personal information on 143 million Americans—including Social Security and drivers license numbers—is also a wake-up call about the dramatic loss of our privacy in the digital era.
By: Jeff Chester | Aug 29 2017
Personal health wearable devices that consumers are using to monitor their heart rates, sleep patterns, calories, and even stress levels raise new privacy and security risks, according to a report released today by researchers at American University and the Center for Digital Democracy.