I agree with Alcibiades that the author does seem to spend a lot of time focused on the use of gathered information to create targeted advertising, but I think the author is also trying to draw attention to possible problems with allowing private companies to control information and data. I Personally, the targeted advertising does not bother me much; maybe it is because I have always assumed that whatever I do online can be tracked, recorded, and then analyzed. I would, however, be bothered by the collection of data from my desktop, like the one Andrejevic points on on page 305. I can not explain why I feel mining data off my desktop, as opposed to what I store, buy, or search online, crosses a privacy.
At any rate, I think the other concerns the author mentions worry me more. I think we really do need to consider who is gathering information and how that organization will control and leverage that information. That is, private companies have motives, namely profits, that do not necessarily align with the public's interests. As some of Andrejevic's examples show, private companies may find it more profitable to bow to the requests for censorship from governments, like China (example about censoring of a blog, pg. 311-312), rather than support freedom of information. It is the possibility that private companies will use the networks and, as Andrejevic refers to them, enclosures to censor ideas, create and enforce strict intellectual property protections, and use information and data stored on their servers to their commercial advantage but the disadvantage of the public or certain subsets of the public.
As I read the article, I thought of a lecture one of my law professors (Shubha Ghosh) gave on the commercialization of data. He suggested that in the context of the commercialization of data/information the profit seeking goals of private companies conflict with the public's interest of transparency and accountability. I think that is an interesting concept because the public does want information to be accessible and free but private companies want to keep information private so that they can charge organizations and individuals large amounts of money in order to access the information.
I found this course very interesting and thought provoking; I enjoyed reading others views on the issues covered. I think this final article was a nice way to end the course because it draws in many ideas we already discussed and made me think about many topics we have already discussed: privacy and whether loss of privacy will hinder intellectual freedom because people will not search for certain things or read certain things because they know everything they do online is monitored; do we want the government to have control or a hand in providing access to information; and do intellectual property rights and laws fit into a networked, digital society.
Like Alcibiades, I am not going to link back to a post of my own but a classmate's post; I liked Diana's post on tensions in libraries because it is a good reminder that the issues we have discussed really do pop up in real life situations, http://lis661.blogspot.com/2010/10/module-6-tensions-in-access.html.