For a long time, companies have been attuned to the idea that environments can be manipulated to change a customer’s behavior and make them more engaged with a product. This ability to manipulate the market has only been facilitated in the online era, with data and online cookies providing companies with a hidden window to your personal interests and behaviors. At an online workshop spearheaded by the Federal Trade Commission, Tech Policy Lab Co-Director Ryan Calo shared his research on digital market manipulation and the privacy and consumer protection issues that arise from increasingly personalized ad spaces.
“When you move from a brick and mortar environment to a digital environment, there are more aspects of the environment to manipulate. I think, as importantly, you can also collect and leverage information about consumers.”