Standing with Laura Edelson in support of tech industry accountability research

This open letter, co-signed by a prominent group of technologists, researchers, and private citizens, supports the work of Damon McCoy, professor of computer science and engineering and Ph.D. candidate Laura Edelson, whose Ad Observer project includes the Ad Observatory plug-in, a tool that allows thousands of volunteers to monitor the political ads that Facebook publishes.

The signatories call on Facebook, various companies across the technology industry, and regulators to develop high-quality standards for research data interoperability, to support and comply with Universal Digital Ad Transparency, and to reinstate Edelson and the NYU team’s access to all accounts that were recently deactivated. This group also calls on independent technologists, researchers, and journalists, urging them to reach out to state and federal policymakers to explain the value of your work and the need for transparency and data access.

"This observatory serves as a critical watchdog over a powerful corporation, while also advancing the cutting edge of scientific knowledge" the letter states.