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Freedom of Speech and Segmenting the Citizens
Unformatted Document Text:  ICA-10-10582 1 I) Introduction: The Value of Privacy in the Age of Profiling and Segmentation Jonathan Zittrain (2000) makes an interesting simile, in an attempt to explain how the technology that is utilized by the publishing industry can be used to facilitate the protection of the health related information about the individuals. According to him, the music industry had the ability to influence law in favor of themselves, yet, despite their power in affecting the rules of the game, they had relatively little power in compelling individuals to comply with those rules (p.1240). The new technologies they introduced, on the other hand, enabled the industry to exert additional influence (mostly out of the realm of conventional judiciary means) on individuals (pp.1240-1242). What Zittrain does not mention, however, is that this exercise of power by corporate actors is not limited to the publishing industry. In fact, relationship marketing has won widespread support among most consumer-oriented businesses. The most important pillars that drive the impetus on relationship marketing are segmentation and targeting. Segmentation and targeting benefit largely from the use of detailed profiles that are developed through a broad range of surveillance methods. Gandy (2000) defines profiles as “list of categories that were determined to be relevant to some administrative decision that must be made by an organization with regard to an individual, a group or a class” (p.1099). Independently generated data about individuals are combined via data-mining techniques, creating a profile of the subject, which is utilized strategically without regard to individual’s wishes, actions, and most significantly, her awareness. These profiles are used to segment the population into different subgroups and predict how these segments differ in terms of the likelihood that they will purchase a promoted product, default on credit, commit a crime or even suffer from heart disease. More importantly for the purposes of this paper, these profiles are increasingly being used to predict how segments differ in their responses to certain messages.

Authors: Popescu, Mihaela. and Baruh, Lemi.
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ICA-10-10582
1
I) Introduction: The Value of Privacy in the Age of Profiling and Segmentation
Jonathan Zittrain (2000) makes an interesting simile, in an attempt to explain how the
technology that is utilized by the publishing industry can be used to facilitate the protection
of the health related information about the individuals. According to him, the music industry
had the ability to influence law in favor of themselves, yet, despite their power in affecting
the rules of the game, they had relatively little power in compelling individuals to comply
with those rules (p.1240). The new technologies they introduced, on the other hand, enabled
the industry to exert additional influence (mostly out of the realm of conventional judiciary
means) on individuals (pp.1240-1242). What Zittrain does not mention, however, is that this
exercise of power by corporate actors is not limited to the publishing industry. In fact,
relationship marketing has won widespread support among most consumer-oriented
businesses. The most important pillars that drive the impetus on relationship marketing are
segmentation and targeting.
Segmentation and targeting benefit largely from the use of detailed profiles that are
developed through a broad range of surveillance methods. Gandy (2000) defines profiles as
“list of categories that were determined to be relevant to some administrative decision that
must be made by an organization with regard to an individual, a group or a class” (p.1099).
Independently generated data about individuals are combined via data-mining techniques,
creating a profile of the subject, which is utilized strategically without regard to individual’s
wishes, actions, and most significantly, her awareness. These profiles are used to segment
the population into different subgroups and predict how these segments differ in terms of the
likelihood that they will purchase a promoted product, default on credit, commit a crime or
even suffer from heart disease. More importantly for the purposes of this paper, these profiles
are increasingly being used to predict how segments differ in their responses to certain
messages.


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