Democratic Bill Seeks to Ban Microtargeting in Political Ads

It would prohibit federal campaigns from targeting based on demographic data

Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., introduced a bill today that would restrict microtargeting efforts on political advertisements.

The Banning Microtargeted Political Ads Act would bar online platforms from targeting political ads based on users’ demographic and behavioral data, though it would still permit geographic targeting and any targeting to which users voluntarily opt in.

The bill specifies that it applies to “social media, ad networks and streaming services,” and, because the bill would only apply to federal candidates for office, enforcement would be carried out by the Federal Election Commission.

“Microtargeting political ads fractures our open democratic debate into millions of private, unchecked silos, allowing for the spread of false promises, polarizing lies, disinformation, fake news, and voter suppression,” Eshoo said in a statement.



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