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Amnesty Int. SA report accuses Facebook, Google of pervasive surveillance

In a new report titled Surveillance Giants", the non-governmental organisation says the companies need to change their business model and stop their reliance on people's data.

FILE: The organisation said Google controls 90% of search engine usage around the world, while one-third of the population uses Facebook and its owned services daily. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG – Amnesty International South Africa has accused social media giants Facebook and Google of pervasive surveillance, which poses a threat to human rights.

In a new report titled Surveillance Giants, the non-governmental organisation said the companies needed to change their business model and stop their reliance on people's data.

The organisation said Google controls 90% of search engine usage around the world, while one-third of the population uses Facebook and its owned services daily.

On Friday, Amnesty spokesperson in South Africa Mienke Steytler said things needed to change.

“We are saying it’s not like we are against technology, we are saying there has to be better regulation to look at the way in which people’s privacy and their right to freedom of expression is protected.”

In the report, secretary general of Amnesty International: "Google and Facebook's insidious control of our digital lives undermines the very essence of privacy and is one of the defining human rights challenges of our era."