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Statement on Legislation to “Ban Surveillance Advertising” Under Consideration by the House Energy & Commerce Committee

Bill would strengthen Big Tech and harm small businesses and consumers

WASHINGTON, DC (March 1, 2022) – Statement by NAI President & CEO Leigh Freund on the Banning Surveillance Advertising Act introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL): 

“The ‘Banning Surveillance Advertising Act of 2022,’ would not fulfill the House Energy & Commerce Committee’s goal of ‘holding Big Tech accountable.’ In fact, the legislation would actually strengthen the largest platforms’ dominance of the digital advertising ecosystem.  

The bill will harm businesses that rely on tailored advertising to reach local or niche audiences interested in their products, particularly small businesses. As a result, it would undermine the ability of digital content publishers to provide consumers with free and low-cost content. Ultimately, it will reduce competition in the digital advertising ecosystem, strengthening the market position of the Big Tech companies the bill is supposed to target. 

The proposal will not solve legitimate problems of disinformation, discrimination, voter suppression or privacy abuses that result from businesses that directly collect and misuse consumer data. A better approach is to enact comprehensive federal privacy legislation that provides for consistent, enforceable regulation with joint federal and state enforcement. The NAI supports a national privacy framework that protects consumers, bans certain uses of data, and allows for innovative uses of data for advertising and the social good.”

Kate Cox-Nowak

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