Treating Root Causes, not Symptoms: Regulating Problems of Surveillance and Personal Targeting in the Information Technology Industries

  • As part of the Digital Markets Act, the EU Commission has proposed a new competition tool to address market power in the digital economy that is dominated by large online platforms. While limiting the power of US-based tech companies, such as Google or Facebook, can be helpful, we argue that limiting competition is not enough. Business models based on invasion of privacy and behavior modification are at the root of the associated problems stemming from their use are at the root of challenges to democracy and sustainability — in order to protect democracy and support sustainable development, Europe needs to develop alternatives to the current behaviorally targeted advertising business model. This policy brief discusses current alternatives to business models based on invasion of privacy and behavior modification, arguing that current alternatives need further development before implementation. To further support the development of new business models we argue in favor of regulatory sandboxes, digital ad revenue tax, reducing accumulation of data to technical necessity only, and adapting procedures and ethics from human subjects research.

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Document Type:Working Paper
Author(s):Lance Bennett, Alan Borning, Marvin Landwehr, Daniela StockmannORCiD, Volker Wulf
Parent Title (English):G20 Insights Platform
Publication year:2021
Publishing Institution:Hertie School
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Release Date:2021/06/07
Licence of document (German):Metadaten / metadata
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