Greg Elmer - Profiling Machines: Mapping the Personal Information Economy

"Elmer's study of profiling zeroes in on a key aspect of modern media spaces. He takes us beyond the study of texts and contexts to look at the forms of linkage and feedback that media regimes use to define and delimit the role of the consumer and the citizen. This is a great book for anybody trying to puzzle out how media, technology, power, and subjectivity function in the contemporary world." --McKenzie Wark, New School University "An important study of how consumers are tracked and solicited in the new information economy. Drawing on Deleuze's concept of control societies, Elmer introduces a much needed update of the literature on surveillance to account for profiling and datamining technologies, and, most crucially, maps out potential spaces of resistance." --William C. Bogard, Professor of Sociology, Whitman College "In a world increasingly networked, automated, and invisibly connected, Greg Elmer's Profiling Machines is a health alert, a political prophecy, and an ethical challenge. Forget the surveillance state: data mining, cookies, and personal profiling are the tools of increasingly powerful global commercial corporations. Somehow we always thought the Web would combine anonymity with the right to become truly individual. Elmer shows how the erosion of anonymity has turned us into economic and lifestyle data sets, traded without our even knowing it. Thoroughly researched, passionately argued, this is a bracing account of the ethics, aesthetics, and likely futures of the web that should be read by everyone who has ever surfed, as well as every student of public relations and marketing." --Sean Cubitt, Professor of Screen and Media Studies, University of Waikato, New Zealand "Greg Elmer has produced a lucid and concise analysis of the panoptic information society. Profiling Machines makes a very important contribution to what is now a critical agenda in contemporary cultural and political debate." --Kevin Robins, Goldsmiths College, University of London