Monday, September 4, 2017

The Aisles Have Eyes: How Retailers Track Your Shopping, Strip Your Privacy, and Define Your Power

By Joseph Turow
(Yale, 2017) 

A revealing and surprising look at the ways that aggressive consumer advertising and tracking, already pervasive online, are coming to a retail store near you.

By one expert’s prediction, within twenty years half of Americans will have body implants that tell retailers how they feel about specific products as they browse their local stores. The notion may be outlandish, but it reflects executives’ drive to understand shoppers in the aisles with the same obsessive detail that they track us online. In fact, a hidden surveillance revolution is already taking place inside brick-and-mortar stores, where Americans still do most of their buying. Drawing on his interviews with retail executives, analysis of trade publications, and experiences at insider industry meetings, advertising and digital studies expert Joseph Turow pulls back the curtain on these trends, showing how a new hyper-competitive generation of merchants—including Macy’s, Target, and Walmart—is already using data mining, in-store tracking, and predictive analytics to change the way we buy, undermine our privacy, and define our reputations.  Eye-opening and timely, Turow’s book is essential reading to understand the future of shopping.

Joseph Turow is Robert Lewis Shayon Professor of Communication and associate dean for graduate studies at the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania and the author of several books.

Author: Steven Cherry

Director of TTI/Vanguard, “a unique forum for senior-level executives that links strategic technology planning to business success. In private conferences that are part classroom, part think-tank, and part laboratory, its members—corporate and government leaders, entrepreneurs, researchers, and academics—explore emerging and potentially disruptive technologies.”

Twenty years experience as a technology journalist and editor, at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), and the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Founded the award-winning podcast series, Techwise Conversations covering tech news, tech careers and education, and the engineering lifestyle. Teaches an intensive writing class as an adjunct instructor at NYU. Previously taught essay writing and creative writing at The College of New Rochelle.