Consumer & Digital Rights Groups Call On Governments to Better Protect People’s Fundamental Rights in Trade Deals

Leading consumer and digital rights organizations across the globe welcome the recent announcement by the U.S. government, indicating that it is withdrawing support from controversial data flows and source code rules in the Joint Statement Initiative on e-commerce. We call on other governments to take this opportunity to reassess their own digital trade policy and better protect their citizens.

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The business advertising model based on mass surveillance and massive accumulation of personal data is under pressure. After years of civil society calling for a ban, and policymakers stopping short of taking decisive action, the industry seems to be hitting crunch point: Meta is under scrutiny in the EU where its practices are deemed illegal; the case against Grindr is moving through the court system, and so it the case against IAB Europe’s ‘best practice’ framework;and Google announced phasing out of third party cookies.

In the last years, an increasing body of evidence has emerged highlighting the detrimental effects of surveillance-based advertising on consumers, citizens, & democracy as a whole. Do we continue with the rounds of complaints and litigation, or is it time to take decisive action?


  • Aaron Alva, Technologist, Federal Trade Commission
  • Jeff Chester, Executive Director, Center for Digital Democracy
  • Tobias Judin, Head of international, Norwegian Data Protection Authority
  • Johnny Ryan, Director of Enforce, Irish Council for Civil Liberties

Moderated by Calli Schroeder, Senior Counsel and Global Privacy Counsel at Electronic Privacy Information Center and TACD Digital committee co-chair.

This event was recorded on 11 March 2024.

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