WASHINGTON, DC — The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Free Press Action release model legislation for Congress this week to consider in its ongoing online privacy debates. This bill prioritizes combating civil rights harms from the invasive privacy practices of tech and big data companies. “Congress needs to prohibit the use of personal data to discriminate in employment, housing, lending, education, insurance, and the right to vote,” said Kristen Clarke, executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee. “Civil rights laws previously addressed these issues in brick-and-mortar commerce. These laws were never intended to omit the digital public square. It is time to update our toolkit for the data economy.” Commercial data practices have disproportionate impacts on communities of color, women, LGBTQ individuals, immigrants, religious minorities, and other marginalized communities. By collecting huge swaths of personal information and feeding it into algorithms designed to profile individuals for ad targeting and engagement maximization, tech companies are engaging in and facilitating a new generation of segregation and discrimination. This bill is a comprehensive data protection act that builds on decades of civil rights law and experience. It prohibits discrimination in economic opportunities and online public accommodations; prohibits deceptive voter suppression; requires… Read full this story
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