Panelist on “The Voice Catchers: How Marketers Listen In to Exploit Your Feelings, Your Privacy, and Your Wallet.”

Advertising and Society Quarterly 22, no. 4, Winter 2021.

Abstract: This Author Meets Critics conversation (with Edward Timke, Duke University; Mara Einstein, Queens College, CUNY; Nora Draper, Univ. New Hampshire) focuses on Joseph Turow’s book The Voice Catchers: How Marketers Listen In to Exploit Your Feelings, Your Privacy, and Your Wallet (Yale University Press, 2021). Turow states that the voice intelligence industry is one example of a society based on surveillance capitalism, in which the monitoring and use of people’s personal information drives economic productivity. What concerns Turow is how marketers are analyzing and using the human body. Up until now, the techniques for profiling people have been constructed through demographics, lifestyles, psychographics, and online and offline behaviors. With voice technology, we are moving into a world where the body becomes a realm marketers are trying to exploit. Hamilton found Turow’s book to be very important in helping scholars, students, marketers, and policymakers understand the broader implications of how marketers use voice technologies to do their work. In particular, Hamilton appreciates how Turow warns us that the use of biometric data has become institutionalized and is largely unregulated. Wildly inaccurate predictive models based on these data are concerning because they can reinforce harmful discriminatory practices and structural inequities.

Jay Hamilton 

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