Web-Marketing Magazine 

. book
Greg Elmer
Profiling Machines
<book> The MIT Press
ISBN 0262050730
Finding the data structure which describes a person through his public actions is the holy grail not only of marketing professionals, but also of police states and, more generally, any paranoid government. The 'profiled' user is one of the objectizations of the need for control on reality. The database is the central underlying element and cross references are the dynamic which has fueled the sense of omnipotence of the people authorized to access the archives, beginning with the first machines made by Hollerith (who later founded IBM) which made easy to graph several relations between the data of the american census. The economy related to the gathering of personal informations gives, first and foremost, a cultural power: the power to render acceptable the systematic intrusions in our daily choices. Thus, the cultural struggle against these techniques must start from the attempt to gather knowledge on them and to build an overall view, which this text succeeds in doing. The description of the strategies, as in the deconstruction of cookies in the different implementations of Netscape, traces a map of the possible spaces of resistance. These are fundamental for reversing the trend of recording and archiving every personal space with the mendacious but popular excuse of the construction of a (nightmarish) 'safe' and controlled future.


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