About this project

This is a list of the most creepy companies that are blind to their effect on human rights. They collect data and use algorithms to advance the goals of the powerful, while limiting the potential and freedoms of citizens. They will might what they do is legal.. but that doesn't make it ethical. The big question for innovators is no longer "can we do it", but "should we do it".

Please remember that the people who work at these companies are not evil. Most of them mean well, but they are blind to the unintended consequences. They often uncritically believe that technology automatically brings progress. They are victims of a culture that many of us are complicit in - the gospel of Silicon Valley is attractive to all of us.

Common issues are:
  • Pretending that norms on privacy don't translate to online life (Facebook for example).
  • Being deaf to criticism: while predicting their creations will bring about bright futures, they at the same time pretend negative effects can't be anticipated (hi again Facebook).
  • Increasing social pressure through reputation systems. A deep understanding of the social subtleties of human life is often lacking. Talk to the humanities!
  • Risk the security of citizens by grabbing more data than necessary or storing it in an unsafe manner (blockchain).
  • Overselling their ability to manage risk ("we can tell if you're a terrorist just from a photo of your face"). The people who are incorrectly judged, the false positives, are dismissed as collateral damage.
  • Hiding subjective choices and limiting accountability by hiding behind a veil of algorithmic neutrality ("computer says no").
  • And so many more..
Take action

If these companies ruffle your feathers, please support the organisations that are fighting to make our human rights apply to our digital lives: Privacy International(UK), Bits of Freedom(NL), Electronic Fronteer Foundation(USA), EDRI(EU), or any local civil group in your area.

Made by

This is a side-project by Tijmen Schep, a technology critic and privacy designer from Amsterdam. It re-uses code by Michel, Micheline & Marjorie.