The gift will launch CR's Digital Lab, an initiative dedicated to holding the tech industry to higher standards and addressing urgent issues in the modern digital marketplace, including data privacy and security challenges. The initiative also will focus on marketplace protections, including tougher privacy laws and antitrust enforcement, and will examine the broader topics of transparency, fair market competition, and consumer choice. To direct the lab, Consumer Reports is forming a digital advisory council comprised of thought leaders in journalism, technology, and academia, with Newmark serving as honorary chair.
"Today's digital giants have unprecedented influence over the choices we make, the information we receive, and the ways we experience the world, and that influence is often hidden from us," said Marta Tellado, CEO and president of Consumer Reports. "The rapid growth of these companies is sapping us of our ability to control our own lives and make informed decisions, and our government has been unable or unwilling to keep them in check by setting appropriate and necessary standards. Our digital testing has already shown how products and services we use every day can expose us to many new and potential harms. Consumer Reports' new Digital Lab will reveal precisely how and where our rights are undermined by the unchecked influence of technology. Armed with that knowledge, consumers can make more secure choices that protect our privacy and hold these giants to account."