Facebook, Google Fund Nonprofits Shaping Federal Privacy Debate
Few companies have more riding on proposed privacy legislation than Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. To try to steer the bill their way, the giant advertising technology companies spend millions of dollars to lobby each year, a fact confirmed by government filings.
Not so well-documented is spending to support highly influential think tanks and public interest groups that are helping shape the privacy debate, ostensibly as independent observers.
“The landscape of advocacy groups in Washington is complicated, and large technology companies benefit from this confusion,” Daniel Stevens, executive director for the Campaign for Accountability, said.
Enforcers and lawmakers “often have no idea that tech companies are ultimately behind the positions being put forth by innocuous-sounding advocacy groups.”