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Opinion: From Data Collection to Persuasive Technologies

BEHAVIORAL TARGETING

March 19, 2012

In The Atlantic, Alexander Furnas writes about the collectivization of online data, the cost of which "will be felt at a societal scale," adding, "in aggregate, this knowledge is powerful, and we are granting those who gather our data far more than we realize." Furnas notes privacy advocates worry about what social media sites, among others, do with consumer data but says we need to look at the bigger picture. "Rather than caring about what they know about me, we should care about what they know about us." The combination of detailed online data with aggregate data on human behavior grants companies "incredible power" and "provides a roadmap for designing persuasive technologies." Furnas adds, "the ethical implications of widespread deployment of persuasive technologies remains unexamined."
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