Google and Facebook help connect the world and provide crucial services to billions users, but this services come at a systemic cost.
In a new report (a 60 page free PDF ), Amnesty International warned about Facebook and Google’s surveillance of billions of people.
The organization saying the two companies have “surveillance-based business models” thatundermine privacy, and poses a systemic threat to human rights.
They argue that just the fact that they’re gathering this data is bad, even if they keep it internal, because it’s a target very valuable for nation states, criminals and almost any organization.
The services provided by Google and Facebook derive revenue from the accumulation and analysis of data about people.
Instead of charging a fee for their products or services, these businesses require anyone who wishes to use them to give up their personal data instead.
Facebook and Google (a subsidiary of holding company Alphabet Inc) are multinational conglomerates, and as such their operations vary significantly across a wide array of subsidiaries, products and services.
The human rights organization also called on governments to enact and enforce a dedicated legislation:
Governments must enact and enforce strong data protection laws with human rights at the front and centre, in line with long-established data protection principles. These laws should restrict the amount and scope of personal data that can be collected, strictly limit the purpose for which companies process that data, and ensure inferences about individuals drawn from the collection and processing of personal data are protected. They should further require that companies are clear with users about the purpose of collecting their personal data from the start and that they do not further process it in a way incompatible with this purpose or their responsibility to respect human rights.