Amnesty International has slammed the business models of Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) regarding their persistent surveillance. The human rights charity states that surveillance of people across the world by the two giants is a violation of free expression, and it threatens human rights.
Surveillance-based business model violates human rights
The NGO is calling for the company to reform its business models and cease relying on personal data of people. Amnesty has warned that despite the value of the services the companies offer, their platforms are systematically costly. The surveillance-based models the companies use to force users to make Faustian bargain, implying that they can only enjoy their human rights online by subscribing to a system based on human rights violations.
Amnesty indicates that there is abuse to the right of privacy to extraordinary levels. Then other knock-on effects affect various rights such as freedom of expression, right to non-discrimination, and freedom of thought. The two companies are very powerful when it comes to free expression and speech. Amnesty has indicated that Facebook and Google have been abusing these two fundamental rights.
A report released by the NGO shows that Google dominates in the search engine while the Facebook platform attracts almost a third of the global population. Amnesty International’s Secretary General Kumi Naidoo indicated that most of the people using these platforms have no choice but to access them in terms dedicated by Google and Facebook.
Growing regulatory scrutiny on tech companies
The onslaught by Amnesty International comes at a time when there is increased regulatory scrutiny on tech companies. Currently, Facebook is facing a probe regarding the abuse of the user’s privacy and using personal data to manipulate the election. On the other hand, Google is under investigation regarding its data collection policies. Similarly, the companies are under investigation for their alleged violation of antitrust regulations.
Amnesty asserts that the tech companies were left to become so big. Their size and dominant platforms mean that it will be impossible to take part in the internet without agreeing to the companies’ surveillance-based business models.