Facebook and Google’s omnipresent surveillance of billions of people poses a systemic threat to human rights, Amnesty International warned in a new report as it called for a radical transformation of the tech giants’ core business model.
Surveillance Giants lays out how the surveillance-based business model of Facebook and Google is inherently incompatible with the right to privacy and poses a systemic threat to a range of other rights including freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of thought, and the right to equality and non-discrimination.
“Google and Facebook dominate our modern lives – amassing unparalleled power over the digital world by harvesting and monetizing the personal data of billions of people. Their insidious control of our digital lives undermines the very essence of privacy and is one of the defining human rights challenges of our era,” said Kumi Naidoo, Secretary General of Amnesty International.
“The internet is vital for people to enjoy many of their rights, yet billions of people have no meaningful choice but to access this public space on terms dictated by Facebook and Google,” said Kumi Naidoo.
“To make it worse this isn’t the internet people signed up for when these platforms started out. Google and Facebook chipped away at our privacy over time. We are now trapped. Either we must submit to this pervasive surveillance machinery – where our data is easily weaponized to manipulate and influence us – or forego the benefits of the digital world. This can never be a legitimate choice. We must reclaim this essential public square, so we can participate without having our rights abused.”
Read the Complete Publication Announcement
Direct to Full Text Report: Surveillance Giants: How the Business Model of Google and Facebook Threatens Human Rights
60 pages; PDF.
Also From Amnesty International:
We Called Out Facebook And Google But Still Need Them. That’s Exactly The Problem