“All within the state, none outside the state, none against the state”, said Benito Mussolini. This statement from Mussolini gives us a clear idea of how centralized a certain state can be. Moreover, tailoring subjects’ lifestyle according to ingeniously or forcefully collected information makes a government or any authority more powerful. This might be one of the reasons we hate totalitarianism. But what if 21st-century marketing does become totalitarian? Can we stand against “totalitarian marketing”, it’s already collecting secret files on us?
Susan K. Robertson interviewed the writer of the book, BadMen: How Advertising went from a Minor Annoyance to A Major Menace, Bob Hoff, lately. They talked about privacy and security in this digital era.
A woman wrote that she asked Tinder for all the data they had on her
During the interview, Mr. Hoffman said that people don’t completely realize the ad targeting, online tracking, or digital advertisement. In fact, there is a big underlying scope for these digital marketing activities. However, the former U.S. advertising expert gave an example. He exemplified, there is a company in the U.K. called Cambridge Analytica that says they have a file on every adult in the U.S. with $4000 to $5000 data points on every individual”.
The marketing expert also shared an experience about woman’s write up in The Guardian. “A woman wrote that she asked Tinder for all the data they had on her”. Guess what, Tinder wasn’t generous enough to give her own information easily. In fact, after a hard bargain, she got her information from the dating app authority. Moreover, Hoffman worded, “after arm-wrestling to get it, she got 800 pages of information. That’s the equivalent of War and Peace. If Tinder has that much, can you imagine what Google and Facebook have on us?”
Google and Facebook Have Mountains of Information on us
However, it seems corporations like Google and Facebook have mountains of information on us. The information they got by luring us. Do we even know, with whom they are sharing this information? Is there any way to know how they are categorizing these pieces of information? Don’t we need to know whom they are selling this information to know?
We’ve always been warned about totalitarian governments
Bob Hoffman reminded, “We’ve always been warned about totalitarian governments. Now, we’ve totalitarian marketing- they’re collecting secret files on us. There’s no precedent for knowing where this leads”.