Chet Dalzell’s recent thoughtful piece on “Our Digital Selves” came along at the same time I (and probably a gazillion others) were pondering the increasingly pressing question of data privacy in the digital age.
For years, state Democratic parties have been gathering information about individual voters' political leanings. They have noted down the opinions voters shared with canvassers—which candidates they said they supported or their positions on policy issues. Now, the record of what people told Democratic volunteers may go up for sale—and not just to political groups. Democrats are looking into whether credit card companies, retailers like Target or other commercial interests may want to buy the information. State Democratic party leaders formed the National Voter File Co-op in 2011 to sell their voter data to approved groups like the NAACP. The goal
The idea of targeted marketing isn’t exactly a groundbreaking concept; it’s why you see makeup and clothing ads in Cosmopolitan, not ESPN The Magazine. However, the fact that the tactic has moved into the digital space, where marketers can track with intense precision everything from eye movement to the amount of spent time on a page, continues to raise an enormous amount of concern, especially among the thought leaders who are smart enough to pinpoint how this tactic works. In a recent interview, University of Pennsylvania communication professor Joseph Turow discussed the issue of marketers gaining access