The Daily You

The Daily You

How the New Advertising Industry Is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth

By Joseph Turow

Yale University Press, Hardcover, 9780300165012, 256pp.

Publication Date: January 2012


The Internet is often hyped as a means to enhanced consumer power: a hypercustomized media world where individuals exercise unprecedented control over what they see and do. That is the scenario media guru Nicholas Negroponte predicted in the 1990s, with his hypothetical online newspaper "The Daily Me" and it is one we experience now in daily ways. But, as media expert Joseph Turow shows, the customized media environment we inhabit today reflects "diminished" consumer power. Not only ads and discounts but even news and entertainment are being customized by newly powerful media agencies on the basis of data we don t know they are collecting and individualized profiles we don t know we have. Little is known about this new industry: how is this data being collected and analyzed? And how are our profiles created and used? How do you know if you have been identified as a target or waste or placed in one of the industry's finer-grained marketing niches? Are you, for example, a Socially Liberal Organic Eater, a Diabetic Individual in the Household, or Single City Struggler? And, if so, how does that affect what you see and do online?

Drawing on groundbreaking research, including interviews with industry insiders, this important book shows how advertisers have come to wield such power over individuals and media outlets and what can be done to stop it.

About the Author
Joseph Turow, called by the "New York Times" "probably the reigning academic expert on media fragmentation," is Robert Lewis Shayon Professor and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies at the Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania. He is the the author of "Breaking Up America: Advertisers and the New Media World", among other books, and the editor of "The Wired Homestead" (MIT Press, 2003).

Praise For The Daily You

The Daily You should be a mandatory read for anyone in our industry.”—Doug Weaver, Founder and CEO, Upstream Group, in his blog The Drift
-Doug Weaver

“Turow offers steps to offset the new rules of advertising that are secretly reshaping our world, including the need for teaching basic digital technologies to children…[The Daily You] is excellent.”—Booklist

“An eye-opener that will startle readers, the book offers grist for policy makers and others battling to preserve a shred of privacy in America.”—Kirkus Reviews

“An important and urgent reminder that in our excitement over the benefits of new technologies we run the risk of ceding influence over forces essential to protecting and promoting autonomous decisionmaking to an industry interested only in activating our buying impulses.”—Glenn Altschuler, Minneapolis Star-Tribune
-Glenn C. Altschuler

"Joe Turow pulls back the curtain on the secretive practices that define the online experience for almost all Internet users. Informative, engaging, and often alarming, The Daily You should be the starting point for a national campaign to bring accountability and transparency to the world of online advertising."—Marc Rotenberg, Electronic Privacy Information Center and Georgetown University Law Center
-Marc Rotenberg

“Joe Turow’s The Daily You is a gem of public-spirited scholarship and dogged reporting. It is full of startling insights about how deeply known we are to the people who are serving us personalized ads tied to personalized content based on the incredibly accurate, predictive profiles that are assembled about us from the digital and real-world details we reveal – often unwittingly – about ourselves. Turow is the best kind of trail guide for those who care about the widespread commercial, cultural, and political implications of these developments. Take heed.”—Lee Rainie, Director, Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project
-Lee Rainie
-Tom Hespos
-William H. Dutton

"As he has throughout his career studying media and its social impact, Turow gets us beyond the simplistic ‘digital privacy’ meme and opens a much richer theme: social profiling. Through the audience segmentation digital media seems hell bent on perfecting, we risk handing over to others something more precious than our personal ‘data.’ We may be giving people we don’t know—and certainly never elected—control over what information we get, what offers and access we receive, and what opportunities we and our families may or may not enjoy. Privacy? Small potatoes compared to the larger social issues Joe is highlighting here."—Steve Smith, Digital Media Editor at Media Industry Newsletter
-Steve Smith

"Excellent, readable, and contains important information for a wide range of library patrons."—Mary Whaley, Booklist
-Mary Whaley

“An important and insightful book.”—Publishers Weekly

“The terror is in the details in this comprehensive study of the advertising world circa 2012—though the details seem subject to change with the technology.”—Zócalo Public Square

Wednesday, Feb 22, 2012

Advertisers collect information with every digital move people make. They then target ads based on that information. Communications scholar Joseph Turow worries that advertisers will use such data to discriminate against people and put them into "reputation silos." More at

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