Profit Over Privacy in London School of Economics Review of Books

A deep dive into the political roots of advertising on the internetThe central concept of the book, surveillance advertising, describes the practice of profiling individual users through an aggregation of their data, which is then sold to marketers to provide personalised advertisements. Crain is not particularly concerned with the supposed persuasive power of these ads, which he correctly identifies as more of a sales pitch than an existing reality. Instead, he focuses on the systemic consequences of this practice, which ‘encourage, naturalise and profit from manipulative and discriminatory behaviours’ of marketers (5). Therein lies one of the biggest strengths of this work: it ditches moral judgment on the actions of specific companies to demonstrate instead that all tech giants must act in accordance with a market logic that has placed individual surveillance at its core.

Read the full review on the LSE Review of Books blog. 

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