Class Year

2016

Access Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department or Program

Media Studies Program

First Advisor

Bill Hoynes

Second Advisor

Dara Greenwood

Abstract

The amalgamation of the real and digital worlds has forced us to critically consider our evolving relationship with technology. My thesis aims to examine practices of digital advertising and the effects they have on Internet users’ privacy and anonymity. I will examine the history of the Western advertising industry throughout the 20th century before transitioning to an analysis of Google. Then I will discuss the evolution of public-private ties and how they reflect legislation that gives companies free reign to implement their own lenient policies. I will compare the FTC’s laws and regulation with their EU counterparts to highlight the differences between a self-regulatory system and that of a centralized, user-focused one. I will conclude with an analysis of modern users’ sentiment. I hope to prove that it isn’t just what is happening now that hurts us as a society, but rather what will happen if these powers go unchecked.

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