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Technology & Innovation

Against a Hyper-Personalized Web

Adding to the current debate on downside of search filters and algorithms, Daniel Terdiman interviews author Eli Pariser on why a hyper-personalized Web is bad for you.

What’s the Latest Development?

Though most of us like having things tailored to our specific needs and interests, Eli Pariser thinks we should beware of the substantial risks inherent in the increasing personalization of the Internet. Author of “The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You”, in this interview Pariser says that as consumers we can at least, “vary our information pathways more and use things like incognito browsing to stop some of the tracking that leads to personalization. But that’s only a partial, temporary solution.”

What’s the Big Idea?

“Really, it’s in these companies’ hands to do this ethically—to build algorithms that show us what we need to know and what we don’t know, not just what we like. So we need Google and Facebook and the other companies to take their curation responsibility seriously, and to build a sense of civic life into their algorithms. And if they don’t, then we probably need some regulation. Google and Facebook are now more than insurgent startups–they hold a lot of public trust.”


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