Profiling Machines: Mapping the Personal Information Economy by Greg Elmer | 9780262050739 | Hardcover | Barnes & Noble
Profiling Machines: Mapping the Personal Information Economy

Profiling Machines: Mapping the Personal Information Economy

by Greg Elmer
     
 

ISBN-10: 0262050730

ISBN-13: 9780262050739

Pub. Date: 01/01/2004

Publisher: MIT Press

In this book Greg Elmer brings the perspectives of cultural and media studies to the subject of consumer profiling and feedback technology in the digital economy. He examines the multiplicity of processes that monitor consumers and automatically collect, store, and cross-reference personal information. When we buy a book at Amazon.com or a kayak from L.L. Bean, our

Overview

In this book Greg Elmer brings the perspectives of cultural and media studies to the subject of consumer profiling and feedback technology in the digital economy. He examines the multiplicity of processes that monitor consumers and automatically collect, store, and cross-reference personal information. When we buy a book at Amazon.com or a kayak from L.L. Bean, our transactions are recorded,stored, and deployed to forecast our future behavior—thus we may receive solicitations to buy another book by the same author or the latest in kayaking gear.

Elmer charts this process, explaining the technologies that make it possible and examining the social and political implications.Elmer begins by establishing a theoretical framework for his discussion, proposing a "diagrammatic approach" that draws on but questions Foucault's theory of surveillance. In the second part of the book, he presents the historical background of the technology of consumer profiling,including such pre-electronic tools as the census and the warranty card, and describes the software and technology in use today for demographic mapping. In the third part, he looks at two case studies—a marketing event sponsored by Molson that was held in the Canadian Arctic (contrasting the attendees and the indigenous inhabitants) and the use of "cookies" to collect personal information on the World Wide Web, which (along with other similar technologies) automate the process of information collection and cross-referencing. Elmer concludes by considering the politics of profiling, arguing that we must begin to question our everyday electronic routines.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780262050739
Publisher:
MIT Press
Publication date:
01/01/2004
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
1The Culture and Technologies of Profiling2
2A Diagram of Panoptic Surveillance28
3Consumption in the Network Age: Solicitation, Automation, and Networking52
4Mapping Profiles72
5Deploying Profiles in Promotional Events90
6The "State" of a Panoptic Medium110
7The Politics of Profiling132
Notes147
Bibliography153
Index169

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