THE PEOPLE’S DECLARATION

Along with thirty-four organisations, all of whom are deeply concerned about the role of Big Tech in abuse of democracy we are proud to sign and support the People's Declaration as below: 

We, the people of Europe, demand technology that serves us, instead of putting us, our communities and our democracies at risk. We call for an end to Big Tech’s destructive business model which has turned our own data into weapons against us. We demand a better internet, where citizens are able to access vital infrastructure and information, and thrive off connection and participation, without being reduced to products in an insidious surveillance economy. We call for a world in which no small group of billionaires can tweak an algorithm and change the fate of billions without constraints or fear of consequence. We urge all those involved in scrutinising and passing legislation in Europe to stand on the side of the people you represent and take all necessary measures to rein in Big Tech’s abuses whilst defending people’s fundamental rights, critically – the right to free speech for all. We remind you that your job is to protect us, the people, and not the profits of massive tech companies operating with impunity within our borders.

The first important step is a strong Digital Services Act that stands as a first line of defence against the harms of Big Tech. It must:

1. Turn off the manipulation machine
Big Tech’s toxic recommender systems and algorithms are amplifying hate speech and disinformation – weaponizing every societal fault line with relentless surveillance to maximise “engagement”. These systemic risks are created not just by external actors but are a feature of an unconscionable, unethical business model. It is time for these platforms to de-risk their design, detox their algorithms, give users real control over them and be held to account for failing to do so.

2. Stop surveillance for profit
We’ve been conned into giving “consent” for surveillance. We were never given a meaningful choice. The DSA and DMA must put an end to surveillance advertising that people never asked for. The use of digital services cannot be conditional on acceptance of surveillance and profiling. In addition, we demand transparency on all aspects of online ads and enforcement of our data rights to make them a reality.

3. Put people back in charge
Big Tech cannot continue to call the shots as judge and jury. The DSA must create stronger powers for regulators to hold Big Tech to account, including through robust audit powers that cannot simply be gamed by the companies. Europe must not allow a repeat of the failures of enforcement as seen with the GDPR.

Our organisations represent over 25,823,881 citizens across the EU. Today, we send a united message: we the people will no longer tolerate this relentless corporate assault on our lives and our liberty.

We expect and demand that our elected representatives will stand with us.

Signed,

1. Amnesty International
2. Avaaz
3. Center for Countering Digital Hate
4. Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations (SOMO)
5. Civil Liberties Union for Europe
6. Corporate Europe Observatory
7. D64 (Germany)
8. Defend Democracy
9. European Network Against Racism
10. Fair Vote UK
11. Foundation for Market Information Research (SOMI)
12. Foxglove
13. Glitch
14. Global Action Plan
15. Global Witness
16. Hate Aid
17. Irish Council for Civil Liberties
18. Lobby Control
19. Netwerk Democratie
20. Never Again Association / NIGDY WIĘCEJ
21. Ranking Digital Rights
22. Reporters Sans Frontières
23. Stop Climate Chaos
24. Stop Funding Heat
25. Sum of Us
26. The London Story (Netherlands)
27. The Peter Tatchell Foundation
28. The Real Facebook Oversight Board
29. The Signals Network
30. Transparent Referendum Initiative
31. Uplift
32. WeMove Europe
33. Women in AI (Austria)
34. World Uyghur Congress (Germany)
35. 5Rights Foundation

Contact
To get in touch about this campaign, please email info@digitalaction.co

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