Amnesty International has released an elaborate report containing “blatant accusations” against tech giants Facebook and Google.
Google and Facebook should be forced to abandon what they called their “censorship-based business model,” the group said in a new report released on Thursday.
“The monitoring of billions of people everywhere by the two companies poses a systematic threat to human rights.”Kumi Naidoo Secretary-General of Amnesty International
Amnesty, based in London, said in the 60-page report that the “giants of surveillance” business model ran counter to the right to privacy.
“The two companies pose a threat to other rights, including freedom of opinion and expression, freedom of thought, and the right to equality and non-discrimination,” the report said.
Komi Naidu, the organization’s secretary-general, says Google and Facebook control the lives of its users.
“The two companies are leveraging unparalleled influence on the digital world by collecting and gaining the personal data of billions of people. Their shameful control over our digital lives undermines the essence of privacy, one of the defining human rights challenges of our time.”
The report noted that Google and Facebook have established control over the basic channels that most of the world depends on to exercise their rights online. Naidu also argued that Google and Facebook platforms rely on “algorithms” that process vast amounts of data to deduce stunningly detailed features about people and shape their online experience.
“Then advertisers pay money to Facebook and Google to enable them to target people with specific ads or messages,” he said.
Amnesty says the internet is vital for people to exercise many of their rights, , “but billions of people have no choice but to enter this public space on the terms that Facebook and Google dictate to them.” Amnesty also admitted to the Cambridge Analytica data scandal. ,, That showed us how easily data about people can be misused, in unforeseen ways, with the aim of manipulating and discussing them. “”
Amnesty International called on governments to take urgent measures to reform the monitoring model and protect their citizens from human rights violations by the two companies.
“Strong data protection laws and effective regulation of big technology companies should be developed in line with human rights law,” the report said.
In a five-page written response to the report, Facebook rejected the conclusion that the company’s business practices “run counter to human rights principles.”
Steve Satterfield, Facebook’s director of privacy and public policy, doubted the company’s business model was based on “surveillance” and noted that users voluntarily subscribe to the service, which is free, although the data collected is used to sell ads. Google did not provide a detailed response to the report, but rejected its findings.