“We are living in a world in which a handful of high-tech companies, sometimes working hand-in-hand with governments, are not only monitoring much of our activity, but are also invisibly controlling more and more of what we think, feel, do and say. The technology that now surrounds us is not just a harmless toy; it has also made possible undetectable and untraceable manipulations of entire populations – manipulations that have no precedent in human history and that are currently well beyond the scope of existing regulations and laws. The new hidden persuaders are bigger, bolder and badder than anything Vance Packard ever envisioned. If we choose to ignore this, we do so at our peril.”
This is a lengthy article, but they cite some really interesting experiments and examples where we’ve already seen Facebook and Google creating massive influence over people’s behaviors and opinions, without any of us really being able to detect that it’s happening. Go read it, and keep it in mind as you look at search engine results or newsfeeds that are based on algorithms we can’t see, and information they are tracking about us.