CITAP has issued a comment to the FEC in favor of a rulemaking proceeding based on the Petition for Rulemaking submitted by the Campaign Legal Center and the Center on Science and Technology Policy at Duke University. Understanding the structure of the digital political advertising industry has critical implications for privacy, electoral ethics, and campaign spending transparency, but current reporting requirements make it nearly impossible for researchers to monitor digital political ad practices.
In fact, the black-box nature of this convoluted industry is exactly why such a requirement is necessary. Having these hidden players in each transaction revealed will give political campaigns greater transparency into what they are paying for. The digital advertising ecosystem is notorious for cases of fraud, disappearing money, redundant middlemen, and exorbitant markups charged to clients. While well-resourced, established campaigns may be able to navigate this labyrinth without being duped, giving under-resourced campaigns the ability to demand full transparency by law can help level the playing field.
You can read the full comment here.