SXSW 2021

The Surveillance Economy & the Future of Privacy


Brendan Eich invented JavaScript 25 years ago and he didn't know it'd turn into the catalyst for the targeted ads and invasive tracking that now plague the web. Now, the digital online ecosystem that leverages JavaScript is completely broken. Not only does the current system exploit user data, but it also slows down page loads, drains batteries, and creates a miserable user experience. Recent regulations like CCPA and policy changes by Big Tech are improvements but the open web is still largely fueled by surveillance capitalism. Browsing data is sold to fund the web without consent, ad fraud is pervasive, publishers lose more than half of ad revenue to middlemen and user experience is poor. We have to reject surveillance capitalism and replace it with something that works for everyone.

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  1. Attendees will learn how recent regulations (CCPA, CPRA, etc.) impact online privacy and the digital advertising ecosystem, and how they fall short.
  2. Attendees will feel empowered to take back control of their privacy and turn to solutions that provide privacy-by-default.
  3. Attendees will leave this session with better knowledge of how privacy and user experience are directly correlated.



Sydney Huffman, Senior Account Executive, SHIFT Communications

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