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The mainstream media has taken the Gmail privacy (or lack thereof) controversy to a level approached only by the Jodi Arias trial and Kardashian family doings. Lost in this is a more detailed and long-term debate about its consequences for ad targeting. A new paper by University of Washington professor Ryan Calo is well-worth a read in this regard. The Atlantic has translated some of it into practical terms. The paper itself is an intelligent and innovative look at what consumers don’t like about ad targeting and what brands need to look out for. Says Calo: “The digitization of commerce dramatically alters the capacity of firms to influence consumers at a personal level. A specific set of emerging technologies and techniques will empower corporations to discover and exploit the limits of each, individual consumer’s ability to pursue his or her own self-interest. Firms will increasingly be able to trigger irrationality or vulnerability in consumers — leading to actual and perceived harms that challenge the limits of consumer protection law, but which regulators can scarcely ignore.”

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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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