More than a dozen public interest and advocacy groups are asking large companies to protect customer data and information amid threats from President Donald Trump's administration of immigrant deportation and a national Muslim registry.
On Sunday, The Greenlining Institute, a Berkeley-based public policy research organization focused on racial and economic justice, and 16 other organizations sent a letter to nearly 50 companies that acquire large amounts of customer data.
"These companies — many of which you have likely never heard of — know a tremendous amount about you," the letter states, citing one company Cambridge Analytica that worked on Trump's presidential campaign.
The letter asks the companies to pledge to "not allow our data, or services, to be purchased or otherwise used in ways that could lead to violations of the human rights of Muslims or immigrants in the United States."
Vinhcent Le, a legal fellow at The Greenlining Institute, said many tech companies collect vast amounts of personal data related to their users and customers, and then make a profit by reselling that information.
"We're asking these companies and their data brokers to make absolutely clear that they will not let anyone use this mass of data to persecute people because of their religion, nationality or immigration status," Le said in a statement.
The letter can be read in both English and Spanish here.
Some of the groups that signed on to the letter include Amnesty International, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and the Center for Media Justice.