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Amnesty: 'Surveillance Giants' Google, Facebook Threaten Human Rights


More than 90 percent of all Internet searches are conducted through Google's platforms.

Amnesty International says Facebook and Google need to change their business model, arguing that it is "predicated on human rights abuse."

In a report published on November 21, the London-based human rights watchdog said that what it calls the "surveillance-based" business model pursued by the two U.S.-based Internet giants was "inherently incompatible with the right to privacy."

Facebook and Google, which the report calls "Surveillance Giants," threaten other human rights, including "freedom of expression and opinion, freedom of thought, and the right to equality and non-discrimination," it said.

Amnesty International urged governments and legislators to guarantee people's right not to be tracked by advertisers or other third parties.

The companies' business models force people to make a "Faustian bargain" to allow access to their personal data in order to access platforms that dominate the global public square -- outside of China, the report says.

It notes that more than 90 percent of all Internet searches conducted through Google's platforms, while the 2.45 billion active users on Facebook's main platform each month account for around 70 percent of social-media users.

In its response published with the report, Facebook denies its business practices violate human rights principles, disputes that its business model is "surveillance-based," and points out that users sign up voluntarily for the service.

With reporting by AP
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