Ad Hominem #3
The future is unwritten...
Welcome back to Ad Hominem, a weekly-ish newsletter where I share stories from around the web on the changing nature of AdTech, surveillance capitalism, and the privacy issues that face every individual in the modern marketplace. If you’ve been forwarded this email from a friend, you can read other issues and sign up here.
My apologies for the delay on this email. I was out of the country for a week and am still getting caught back up on everything. I’m also still wrapping my head around the upcoming FCC regulations that will affect Robocalls as well as the debate between state and federal level privacy regulations. California has been the first to act with CCPA, but we really need a national standard. We’re going to get one eventually, but there’s still a lot of hotly debated ground to cover about what it can or should look like. I’m doing my best to understand this space from an outsider’s perspective and share what I learn along the way.
AP News profiled Shoshana Zuboff, who coined the term “Surveillance Capitalism”. This goes into some of her basic premises as well as some of the rebuttals she’s received. I have not read her book, but I’ve listened to a few interviews with her and while she obviously has a bone to pick, and books to sell, she makes some salient points about modern data collection being an entirely new form of commerce, with a hunger for a very human product.
Proving that resistance is effective, the US has now dropped plans to broadly apply facial recognition scans to American citizens traveling through airports. I suspect that this issue will raise its ugly head over and over and over until it eventually becomes the norm, but it’s a good reminder for today that it doesn’t have to. The future is unwritten and through activism and coercion, we can prevent the state from seizing total control over our information. How on earth did we ever use airports before facial recognition?
Advertising breaks your spirit, confuses you about what you really need and distracts you from real problems, like the climate emergency.
That’s a quote from a French nurse and activist working with others to remove ads from public spaces. This is part of a new movement across France to reduce the amount of advertising that invades public spaces, and it’s work I fully support. We need to have a conversation about public advertising BEFORE augmented reality turns every surface into a potential ad zone.
Small Bites of News:
Ryan Reynolds has managed to create the Turducken of advertising.
Pandora has launched new, dystopian voice ads.
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