Protecting privacy is a civil rights issue

Source: Alvaro Bedoya, Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy & Technology, (N.Y.Times) (Paid Registration)

Sweeping privacy violations have the strange effect of revealing that the tracking of consumers by marketers affects everyone while hiding how that tracking hurts some people far more than others. People who value their privacy come from all demographic groups, but the impact of consumer tracking varies greatly by race, class and power. When you’re the “right” race, gender and sexual orientation, when you’ve got the right schools and jobs on your profile, marketers use tracking to flatter and include you. When you’re not, tracking is more likely to be used to exclude or exploit you. This disparate impact is a civil rights issue, and it should be treated like one by Congress.

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