Every day, personal information is used to make important decisions: about what advertisements we see, what types of health care is offered in our communities, and what fields of study our educational institutes believe we are best suited for.
The collection, processing, and sharing of personal information can create serious risks for everyone. For racial minorities, people living with disabilities, people living in poverty, and other marginalized and underserved communities, the risks can be especially acute.
For example, advertisers can both intentionally and inadvertently use digital tools that allow for harmful discrimination in ad targeting, potentially reproducing historical patterns of discrimination in areas such as housing or employment opportunities. Even when targeting criteria does not directly use traits such as race or gender, proxy indicators of these characteristics can nonetheless perpetuate discrimination.
The Biden Administration has made it a clear policy priority to advance racial equity and support underserved communities. As public policy discussions around privacy continue to advance, it is apparent that robust privacy protections are critical to achieving this goal.