A Report from Ranking Digital Rights
This report, the first in a two-part series, articulates the connection between surveillance-based business models and the health of democracy. Drawing from Ranking Digital Rights’s extensive research on corporate policies and digital rights, we examine two overarching types of algorithms, give examples of how these technologies are used both to propagate and prohibit different forms of online speech (including targeted ads), and show how they can cause or catalyze social harm, particularly in the context of the 2020 U.S. election. We also highlight what we don’t know about these systems, and call on companies to be much more transparent about how they work.
Nathalie Maréchal is senior policy analyst at Ranking Digital Rights.
Ellery Roberts Biddle is a journalist and digital rights advocate