Congress Moves to Ban Discriminatory Advertising on Social Media

  • 03/05/2019 12:00 AM
  • Source: Nextgov
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Capitol Hill’s latest privacy bill takes aim at social media platforms that host discriminatory targeted ads.

The DATA Privacy Act, introduced by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., explicitly bars Facebook, Twitter and other companies from allowing advertisers to use consumer data to discriminate by race, gender or sexual orientation. Under the legislation, the Federal Trade Commission would issue clear guidance on what constitutes online discrimination and gain new powers to penalize organizations that violate the rules.

The bill also includes a number of provisions requiring companies to be more transparent about their data collection practices and take steps to adequately protect consumer data.

In 2016, a ProPublica investigation revealed Facebook permitted companies to block users from viewing ads and other posts based on race, which stood in possible violation of federal housing discrimination laws.

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