There is now an ecosystem that drives voter profiling and targeted messages, often known as micro-targeting, that accompany modern political campaigning globally. The targeted ad-supported internet is made up of thousands of companies that track and profile us all 24 hours a day- not just during election time.
Today Privacy International and four other UK privacy organisations have sent Palantir 10 questions about their work with the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) during the Covid-19 public health crisis.
On 25 March 2020, PI made a submission to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in relation to the proposed merger between Google, a powerful tech company, and Fitbit, a fitness tracker device manufacturer. We believe that the merger will seriously undermine our rights and we ask the regulators to block it!
Review of approach of a number of platforms (TikTok, SnapChat, Pintrest, LinkedIn, Spotify, Amazon and Reddit) to political advertising - including targeting more broadly and ads transparency (for users and researchers).
The organised opposition to sexual and reproductive rights has gone digital. Data exploitative tech is being developed that is capable of obtaining vast amounts of intimate information about people’s reproductive health, and delaying or curtailing access to reproductive healthcare.
Governments around the world are rushing to leverage the metadata held by mobile service providers in order to track the movements of a population.
This sort of population and movement tracking is neither new nor novel - indeed, PI have been pushing back against measures of this type for two decades. We have seen telecommunications data utilised in building "smart cities", in tracking protesters, and in arrests... including of innocent people, dissidents, and journalists.
Increased trust makes every response to COVID-19 stronger. Lack of trust and confidence can undermine everything. Should we trust governments and industry with their app solutions at this moment of global crisis?
Following Margaret Atwood's comments that the response to Covid-19 does not amount to "deliberate totalitarianism” we wrote an open letter to her in response, agreeing with her but noting that we may be sleepwalking into a dystopia created by accident rather than design.
Companies all over the world are pitching data products, services & solutions to Coronavirus - from big tech to companies that might not be household names but PI has long challenged for their exploitative data practices. Here we set out examples and the key points for companies to consider.
In March 2020, Privacy International responded to a consultation response for the World Bank's ID4D initiative's Principles on Identification for Development, offering an analysis of the principles themselves and also how they fit within the international debate on identification. We provided 12 main recommendations.
Those in a vulnerable situation - including human rights defenders - are not necessarily in a safer position during lockdown or quarantine measures due to greater exposure to the threats they are already facing, or due to their own activities.
The European Commission submitted a draft proposal to amend the general budget 2020 in order to, among other measures, provide assistance to Greece in the context of the COVID-19 outbreak. Unfortunately, the proposed distribution of funds will not ensure migrants' safety and access to healthcare, but will further enhance control and surveillance over them.
Data can be essential and useful at various stages of a pandemic and public health emergency. It can also feed intelligence and policing, being highly useful for enforcement. Finally, it can be valuable for commercial exploitation. The challenge before us now is which of these do we prioritise in specific settings.
Quarantining is a significant interference with rights, which is why it is only recommended to be done under the advisement of health professionals. Using tech and data to do this can be particularly problematic.