Forrester Principal Analyst Jeff Pollard discusses the surveillance economy: the way that companies use personal data to influence and manipulate consumers’ attitudes, behaviors, and decisions.
Jeff Pollard, Principal Analyst
The surveillance economy sounds like an Orwellian nightmare: Consumers are watched, listened to, and then manipulated as their devices monitor both online and offline activities. But there is a fundamental difference between these two plots because we, as consumers, have made the decision to use these devices and platforms in our daily lives.
The surveillance economy is data commercialization’s evil twin. Using data for targeted advertising is one thing, but when personal data is used to influence the way consumers live and the decisions they make, companies wade in murky waters.
In the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, consumers are acutely aware that their data is being used for more than what they originally believed. While Facebook is bearing the brunt of the backlash, it is not the only company acting on and monetizing a hidden wealth of data.
Ultimately, this will result in an erosion of trust. Consumers will begin to discern between those companies that are authentic in their collection and use of data — and those that are not.
In this episode, Jeff discusses the impact of the surveillance economy for both consumers and companies — and how firms can balance data commercialization with consumer trust.