By: Jeff Chester | Apr 14 2023
By: Jeff Chester | Nov 22 2022
Children and teenagers experience widespread commercial surveillance practices to collect data used to target them with marketing. Targeted and personalized advertising remains the dominant business model for digital media, with the marketing and advertising industry identifying children and teens as a prime target. Minors are relentlessly pursued while, simultaneously, they are spending more time online than ever before. Children’s lives are filled with surveillance, involving the collection of vast amounts of personal data of online users.
By: Jeff Chester | Nov 21 2022
“Acute Myeloid Lymphoma,” “ADHD,” “Brain Cancer,” “High Cholesterol,” “Lung Cancer,” “Overweight,” “Pregnancy,” “Rheumatoid Arthritis,” “Stroke,” and “Thyroid Cancer.” These are just a handful of the digitally targetable medical condition “audience segments” available to surveillance advertisers While health and medical condition marketers—including pharmaceutical companies and drug store chains—may claim that such commercial data-driven marketing is “privacy-compliant,” in truth it reveals how vulnerable U.S.
By: Jeff Chester | Nov 16 2022
Under intensifying pressure from Congress and the public, top social media platforms popular with young people – Instagram, Snapchat, TikTok, Twitch, and YouTube – have launched dozens of new safety features for children and teens in the last year, according to a report from the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD). Researchers at CDD conducted an analysis of tech industry strategies to head off regulation in the wake of the 2021 Facebook whistleblower revelations and the rising tide of public criticism, Congressional hearings, and pressures from abroad.
By: Jeff Chester | Oct 14 2022
Alcohol Marketers are now big data companies. They are also commercial surveillance marketing enterprises, which is how data driven digital marketing is increasingly described by regulators and critics. Like many other global industries, alcohol marketing uses an ever expanding set of diverse and sophisticated online and offline techniques designed to identify and deeply influence its target audiences. Alcoholic beverage companies have broadly adopted the business model and tactics perfected by Google, Meta/Facebook, and Amazon.
By: Jeff Chester | Jun 30 2022
Last week, the leading global advertisers, online platforms and data marketers gathered for the most important awards given by the ad industry—the “Cannes Lions.” Reviewing the winners and the “shortlist” of runners-up—competing in categories such as “Creative Data,” “Social and Influencer,” “Brand Experience & Activation,” “Creative Commerce” and “Mobile”—is essential to learn where the data-
By: Jeff Chester | Mar 1 2022
Microsoft’s proposed purchase of Activision-Blizzard raises serious red flags, Public Citizen, the Center for Digital Democracy, the Repair Association, the Communications Workers of America, and 11 additional groups said today in a letter to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
By: Jeff Chester | Jan 26 2022
By: Jeff Chester | Dec 8 2021
(Excerpt from WHO release):
Just as with tobacco, a global and comprehensive approach is required to restrict digital marketing of alcohol.
Children and young people are especially at risk from the invasion of their social spaces by communication promoting alcohol consumption, normalising alcohol in all social contexts and linked to development of adult identities.
By: Jeff Chester | Oct 17 2021
For decades, the U.S. has allowed private actors to basically create the rules regarding how our data is gathered and used online. A key reason that we do not have any real privacy for digital media is precisely because it has principally been online marketing interests that have shaped how the devices, platforms and applications we use ensnare us in the commercial surveillance complex.
By: Jeff Chester | Sep 22 2021
There is a digital data “gold rush” fever sweeping the data and marketing industry, as the quest to find ways to use data to determine a person’s “identity” for online marketing becomes paramount. This is triggered, in part, by the moves made by Google and others to replace “cookies” and other online identifiers with new, allegedly pro-privacy data-profiling methods to get the same results. We’ve addressed this privacy charade in other posts.
By: Jeff Chester | Aug 10 2021
Online grocery shopping became a pandemic response necessity for those who could afford it, with revenues to exceed $100 billion in 2021. Leading supermarket chains such as Kroger, big box stores like Walmart, online specialist companies such as Instacart, and the ubiquitous Amazon, have all experienced greater demand from the public to have groceries ordered and then quickly delivered or available for pick up.
May 12 2021
The coronavirus pandemic triggered a dramatic increase in online use. Children and teens whose schools have closed relied on YouTube for educational videos, attending virtual classes on Zoom and Google Classroom, and flocking to TikTok, Snapchat, and Instagram for entertainment and social interaction. This constant immersion in digital culture has exposed them to a steady flow of marketing for fast foods, soft drinks, and other unhealthy products, much of it under the radar of parents and teachers.
Nov 15 2020
General Comment submission
Children’s rights in relation to the digital environment
Nov 11 2020
Jul 16 2020
Contact: Jeff Chester
May 5 2020
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contacts: Susan Grant, CFA, 202-939-1003
May 5, 2020 Katharina Kopp, CDD, 202-836 4621
White House Must Act To protect privacy and ensure equity in responding to COVID-19 pandemic
Groups Tell Pence to Set Standards to Guide Government and Public-Private Partnership Data Practices and Technology Use
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.
Jan 14 2020
Popular Dating, Health Apps Violate Privacy
Leading Consumer and Privacy Groups Urge Congress, the FTC, State AGs in California, Texas, Oregon to Investigate
For Immediate Release:
Jan. 14, 2020