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The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry Is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth Hardcover – January 10, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


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 Minneapolis Star-Tribune)

"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)

"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 Booklist)

“An important and insightful book.”—Publishers Weekly
(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
(Zócalo Public Square)

“The Daily You should be a mandatory read for anyone in our industry.  It’s the beginning of an important new conversation about sustainable and inclusive data practices, a conversation that will form much quicker than many of us might imagine.”—Doug Weaver, Founder and CEO, Upstream Group
(Doug Weaver Upstream Group)

"This rigorous and detailed account of social profiling raises timely, thought-provoking issues and concerns."—S.M. Mohammed, Choice
(S.M. Mohammed Choice)

”This rigorous and detailed account of social profiling raises timely, thought-provoking issues and concerns.”—Choice 

“We chose Joe Turow . . . because we consider him a careful yet pioneering researcher whose insights should be carefully considered”—TrustE, on Turow’s 2013 designation as a Privacy Pioneer
(TrustE 2013-01-07)

About the Author

Joseph Turow is Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication, Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania. He lives in Bala-Cynwyd, PA.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (January 10, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300165013
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300165012
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #903,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Doug Weaver on February 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review originally appeared as a blog post on "The Drift." The Author is Doug Weaver, Founder and CEO of Upstream Group and a 17 year veteran of digital advertising.

Listening to the insider discussions and industry reporting about online marketing provides a numbing sense of false comfort. But every so often, we go outside the bubble and hear civilians talking about what we do. I'm sure most of us have had someone at a party or family gathering share their `creeped out' moment; that instance where they finally saw clearly that somehow they were being `followed' online. Other times, they offer us largely unformed general concerns about online privacy: they don't really have a sense of what's going on but they instinctively know they don't like it. And once in a great while you'll hear from someone who's really done their homework and brings crystal clarity to the issue from the consumer point of view.

That moment came for me when I stumbled on an NPR radio interview with Joseph Turow, author of "The Daily You: How the New Advertising Industry is Defining Your Identity and Your Worth." After using up my ten minute commute, I found myself sitting my car in the parking lot of my office for another 30 minutes just listening to this guy. It was kind of like hearing someone talk about you in a bathroom when they don't know you're in one of the stalls. Except they're totally getting it right.

Turow, an associate dean at the Annenberg Communication school at Penn, has done a lot of homework. The book is detailed and rigorous, but also extremely accessible to the curious consumer. While it's probably not going to sell millions of copies, I believe it's going to be a hugely influential and important book for several reasons.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey A. Chester on January 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author uncovers the vast system of surveillance and manipulation at the core of digital media today. Offering insights and analysis not found elsewhere, Turow details how the digital ad and marketing industry have developed new ways to track, analyze, profile and target citizens and consumers. Beyond explaining in accessible terms how marketers are able to micro-target individuals regardless of where they are (such as when we use mobile phones or our PCs), the book offers many profound insights. Turow describes how our personal "reputations" related to our identity are being constructed by others--all out of the control of the individual. Some of us are regarded, he explains, as "waste"--because our incomes or life conditions may not make some marketer the profit they desire. We are secretly being labeled by others with various digital "scarlet letters" symbolizing our worth to the commercial marketplace (and the political one as well). Rather than a technology of freedom and democracy, online advertisers are perfecting a system where we are treated less as human beings and more like digital chattel. Real-time automated ad exchanges--run by Google, Yahoo, etc)--auction off access to us in real-time (milliseconds) to the highest bidder--for ads promoting junk food, credit cards, medical conditions, and other products. The book illuminates how powerful databases off and online are now routinely used to create detailed dossiers about our behaviors, habits and concerns. The Daily You is more than a cautionary tale. It is essential reading for the digital era if we are to understand how ad agencies, online marketers, and social media giants are transforming the Internet into a place where democracy is being pushed aside by powerful special interest forces.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Thossy on December 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Forget privacy: it has already been outed. Joseph Turow's central argument in "The Daily You," is that the concept of user-curated content envisioned by Nicolas Negroponte in "Being Digital" way back in the 90s has been flipped on its head. Increasingly, Turow argues, content is created for, and pushed to, you in support of your predilections and according to your commercial value to advertisers. In the foreseeable future, your very rights as a human being will be constrained by your media score.

So does that end the naive fantasy that anyone with a free-ranging intellect could use the Web to inquire about subjects of interest without the subtle infusion of advertising? Maybe. Maybe not. But most people apparently do not have the inclination or knowledge to employ tools and techniques to circumvent and, if they did, the advertising-supported model would be in jeopardy.

Turow first takes us on a trip though the history of the Web which, I think, should be required reading in every high school in the land. He cogently relates how the Web was unmoored from its noncommercial beginnings by visionary marketers who, after 20 years of unceasing research and innovation, have turned the Web experience for most people into a glitzy casino of intrusive billboards and, coincidentally, their computers into cesspools of cookie data and local storage. His observation that the firewall between editorial content and advertising is developing gaping holes and may soon be wholly breached is no surprise to anyone who has watched TV in recent years.

Turow's lengthy discussion about cookies and the emergence of data-driven advertising networks is informative but doesn't mention the techniques used by political campaigns, which now spend billions in online advertising.
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