Consumer Surveillance And Social And Psychic Costs Of Shopping

1132 Words Nov 24th, 2016 5 Pages
Obfuscation is the process by which consumers find it normal to provide businesses with private information. This process refers to the ways in which that retailers trick consumers into believing how they are being tracked. However, what they don’t know is there are so many other activities that are tracking, parsing and even categorizing them.
Consumers normalize sharing private information because they become comfortable being watched through their phones. In other words, as people have become more emotionally and physically close to their phones, the more relevant and targeted personalized messages are. As a result, we do not see these surveillance measures because the phone has become so integrated into our lives. Moreover, consumers are now worried about their reputation in the public sphere with retailers, hoping for the best deals and discounts. As consumers now operate in world of insecurity and uncertainty caused by personalized, consumer surveillance, they change their habits to get rewarded by these retailers and thus become more willing to give access to their information to avoid the high social and psychic costs of shopping. The connection between big data and inequality is that data will quantify and extrapolate inequalities in ways we will not know about, because it is done by formulas. Essentially, the author is saying that with the large databases of personal information at the disposal of retail companies, they will start personalizing their marketing…

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