The Daily You
How the New Advertising Industry Is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth
February 5, 2013
256 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
The Internet is often hyped as a means to enhanced consumer power: a hypercustomized media world where individuals exercise unprecedented control over what they see and do. That is the scenario media guru Nicholas Negroponte predicted in the 1990s, with his hypothetical online newspaper The Daily Me—and it is one we experience now in daily ways. But, as media expert Joseph Turow shows, the customized media environment we inhabit today reflects diminished consumer power. Not only ads and discounts but even news and entertainment are being customized by newly powerful media agencies on the basis of data we don’t know they are collecting and individualized profiles we don’t know we have. Little is known about this new industry: how is this data being collected and analyzed? And how are our profiles created and used? How do you know if you have been identified as a “target” or “waste” or placed in one of the industry’s finer-grained marketing niches? Are you, for example, a Socially Liberal Organic Eater, a Diabetic Individual in the Household, or Single City Struggler? And, if so, how does that affect what you see and do online?
Drawing on groundbreaking research, including interviews with industry insiders, this important book shows how advertisers have come to wield such power over individuals and media outlets—and what can be done to stop it.
Joseph Turow is Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication and associate dean for graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication. He lives in Bala-Cynwyd, PA.
"Joe Turow pulls back the curtain on the secretive practices that define the online experience for almost all Internet users. Informative, engaging, and often alarming, The Daily You should be the starting point for a national campaign to bring accountability and transparency to the world of online advertising."—Marc Rotenberg, Electronic Privacy Information Center and Georgetown University Law Center
“Joe Turow’s The Daily You is a gem of public-spirited scholarship and dogged reporting. It is full of startling insights about how deeply known we are to the people who are serving us personalized ads tied to personalized content based on the incredibly accurate, predictive profiles that are assembled about us from the digital and real-world details we reveal – often unwittingly – about ourselves. Turow is the best kind of trail guide for those who care about the widespread commercial, cultural, and political implications of these developments. Take heed.”—Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project
“If you ever wanted to know why your favorite newspaper site hangs while loading, or why content sites stretch web articles into 12-pageslideshows or why certain ads seem to follow you around the Internet, read Joe Turow’s book.”—Tom Hespos, Chairman, Partner and President, Underscore Marketing, LLC
"Clicks, cookies and other new metrics of the Internet world are changing how and what advertisers know about your tastes and preferences. This book explains how marketers analyze your online behavior – from following mouseovers to tracking eye gaze. Professor Turow’s book is must reading for anyone seriously concerned with how advertisers are using the Internet to count eyeballs and profile individuals to sell products and services."—William H. Dutton, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford
“The Daily You is required reading in today’s Web 3.0 age.”—Andrew Keen, New Scientist