Like Data for Mediocracy

Lois Beckett’s article yesterday in ProPublica, Everything we know about what data brokers know about you, pulls together references to a handful of companies that pay stores for their loyalty card information, slice and dice the data results with all manner of publicly available “shopper behavior intelligence,” then sell the resulting marketing guidance right back out to companies who want you to buy- um, whatever.  The current digital state-of-art makes the collection, packing and reuse of every iota of on-line behavior incredibly easy for all these middle players, and as I write in New Mediocracy, the future trend in this space only tends toward massively greater magnification on individual human behavior. We will be grouped, regrouped, experimented on and modeled until demographics dissolves into individual data points, and at that point these same companies (give them a few years in the interim) will be able to help stores sell nearly anything to nearly anyone, one by one.

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