Ryan Calo’s research on Digital Market Manipulation is featured in a new piece by Rebecca Rosen in The Atlantic.
“Most of the time, targeted ads are pretty harmless. You searched for a flight to Denver? Here are some hotels in Denver. You looked for new running sneakers? Here are a few options.
But a new “study” from marketing firm PHD recommends a strategy that crosses the line from merely targeted to outright predatory, explicitly advising brands to seize on the times of the day and week when women feel the most insecure about their bodies and overall appearance in order to sell beauty products and other goods.
. . . Rather, it is an unfortunately perfect example of the troubling possibilities enabled by online data tracking—not an abstract sensation of “creepiness” but an ability to exploit people’s vulnerabilities for the sake of profit.”