EFF recently submitted comments to the U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on "Privacy, Equity, and Civil Rights". NTIA is a unit of the U.S. Department of Commerce that advises the President on information policy. NTIA is writing a report on privacy and civil rights, and requested comments from the public.

The submission spotlights how data surveillance practices cause discrimination against vulnerable groups across the entire lifecycle of data processing: at the point of data collection; in the use of data for ad delivery and automated decision-making; and when corporate employees misuse data and thieves steal it. 

The unifying thread to this pervasive system is the processing of personal information about people from marginalized communities, and the subsequent discriminatory use by corporations and government agencies—exacerbating existing structural inequalities across society. 

One necessary approach to solving this problem is to reduce the amount of data that these entities can use to discriminate. To resist these civil rights abuses at their source, we need federal comprehensive consumer data privacy legislation.

You can read our comments here.

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