Big Data and the Stalker Economy | Forbes

Via Scoop.itdigital culture

Big data is strategic now. Facebook is valued at around $100 billion because it has collected a treasure trove of data that may unlock the secrets of selling more things to more people. Most other companies would like to have whatever they’re having. Google offers free email, word processing, mapping, analytics, video, videoconferencing and much more because they’re selling us to advertisers. The byword these days is, “if you’re not paying for the service, you’re the product.” All too often what ‘customer-centric’ companies mean is that they have the customer centered neatly in the cross-hairs of an elaborate mechanism tuned to bop them in the brain with “messages” so they’ll part with more of their cash. It’s the well-known consumer mass-marketing engine, now greatly refined. All the new personal data that’s pouring into the online world is making it much easier to aim these mechanisms (at us, of course). The resulting environment is what my friend Mary Hodder calls the Stalker Economy.