US introduces privacy bill to ban online 'surveillance advertising'

The US Democrats have recently introduced a new bill that would prohibit approximately all digital advertising targeting on ad markets introduced by platforms like Google, Facebook, and other data brokers.

The Banning Surveillance Advertising Act – sponsored by Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) ban digital advertisers from targeting any ads to users.

The Act also makes some small exemptions, like allowing for "broad" location-based targeting. Moreover, appropriate advertising like ads that precisely match the online content would be allowed.

Anna Eshoo, the bill's lead sponsor said that the 'surveillance advertising' business model is premised on the improper collection and hoarding of personal data to allow ad targeting.

Eshoo reported that this practice permits online platforms to hunt user engagement at great cost to society, and fuels misinformation, voter suppression, privacy abuses, discrimination, and many other problems.

Once passed, the bill would fundamentally modify the business models of giants like Google and Facebook.

It has been claimed that for a long time, lawmakers have argued ways to legalize the tech industry on issues like privacy, content moderation and disinformation.

Eshoo and Co-Sponsors debate that the current advertising models of the tech industry incentivize the spreading of harmful content and inspire them to augment damaging posts for keeping the users on their platforms.

The bill sanctions the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general with the authority of enforcing the new rules for targeting ads. It also supports individual users to sue platforms like Google and Facebook if they are breaking any law, conceding up to $5,000 in reprieve per violation.

Sen. Booker quoted that Surveillance advertising is a destructive and hostile practice. The hoarding of people's data exploits privacy and motivates the spread of misinformation, violence, racial division, and domestic extremism.

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By Shreya Bhute

With corporate exposure in software and marketing, Shreya was always intrigued by content development. Having pursued her graduation in I.T. engineering, she works as a content writer for and jots down news articles across distinct domains including technology, business and healthcare.