Social media companies such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram originated with one seemingly innocent goal: “to bring the world closer together.”1 Now, these Big Tech giants own and operate some of the most powerful platforms in the world simply because of their unethical yet effective strategies to maintain their users’ attention. Social media companies have monetized the amount of time their users spend on their platforms by honing in on the individual preferences of each user and selling that access to advertisers. This heightened access to potential consumers and their preferences has become the most valuable marketing tool for digital advertisers. However, this increased access has led to increased public distrust in Big Tech companies and their practices. This public sentiment has resulted in stringent proposed state and federal legislation, as well as self–regulation. Legislatures and corporations alike acknowledge that change is necessary, but neither side has agreed on where to draw the line. This comment examines the privacy implications of the targeted advertising business model and practices, the legal and legislative challenges Big Tech companies have faced, and a potential solution to the exploitation of user data.
Investing in Human Futures: How Big Tech and Social Media Giants Abuse Privacy and Manipulate Consumerism,
30 U. MIA Bus. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.miami.edu/umblr/vol30/iss3/7