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Targeted: My Inside Story of Cambridge Analytica and How Trump and Facebook Broke Democracy
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Targeted: My Inside Story of Cambridge Analytica and How Trump and Facebook Broke Democracy

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  140 ratings  ·  28 reviews
In this explosive memoir, a political consultant and technology whistleblower reveals the disturbing truth about the multi-billion-dollar data industry, revealing to the public how companies are getting richer using our personal information and exposing how Cambridge Analytica exploited weaknesses in privacy laws to help elect Donald Trump--and how this could easily happen ...more
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Published October 22nd 2019 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 3.77  · 
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Start your review of Targeted: My Inside Story of Cambridge Analytica and How Trump and Facebook Broke Democracy
gnarlyhiker
Dec 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
In regards to CA/SCL and being a whistleblower, Christopher Wylie's Mindf*ck is a better and more informative read. Kaiser wallows in self-pity. She campaigns for and takes a selfie with ted cruz, but she was drunk. She joins the nra, but she can't believe she actually did it. When dumpty wins the presidency, she's shocked and appalled and in total denial that CA was its driving force. OK, maybe she could have faked a year and still have not a clue, but after the second year and well into the ...more
Siobhan
Interesting to read alongside Christopher Wylie's Mindf*ck - the way each author frames their involvement (and each other) is illuminating... (ultimately, though, read Mindf*ck rather than this one, because it's more insightful and the tone not as heavily 'look I was a good liberal person I just was forced into doing questionable things')
Hampton
Oct 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Miss Kaiser misses the irony of decrying Trump’s racist rhetoric while voicing her own contempt for “old white men”.

She is disconcerted that CA’s political campaigns relied on emotions rather than facts to persuade voters? But a democracy isn’t exactly peopled with dispassionate logicians. Indeed, the prefrontal cortex is hardly older than democracy itself. Until neurons are made of silicone, pathos will override logos.

More generally, the effect that social media is having on our political
...more
S P
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Look, this book isn't a bad read. But I can't shake the feeling that the author is doing more of what she did for Cambridge Analytica - selling the story and who she is.

First and foremost, its not all bad. The book is strongest where it covers the author's tools and techniques used to sell Cambridge Analytica's services. It provides a fascinating insight into a different world of international privilege, where shoulders are rubbed with the rich, country hopping is common and money is not a
...more
Jessica Scott
Dec 23, 2019 rated it liked it
A few snippets of additional information that match Mindf*ck by Chris Wylie. Insightful and less technical than Wylie’s book. You can watch The Great Hack on Netflix for a snapshot of this books main ideas.
Peggy Ryan
Nov 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a really insightful read - I honestly didn’t enjoy how she was portrayed in The Great Hack (Netflix, 2019), because she came across as a villain, but getting to read this from her perspective really opened my eyes to what she went through
Fefyy Antela
Nov 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was both super interesting and scary

Everyone should read...
...more
Wendy Capron
Jan 01, 2020 rated it liked it
Everyone should read this book (or maybe one that better explains how all this data is being used against us), in conjunction with Thinking, Fast and Slow. Elections from now on will be won by whatever side betters uses our personal information - and I'm betting it will never be for altruistic purposes. Civilization is doomed. Happy New Year!
Matthew Christopher
Dec 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Disclaimer: I read the physical book and accidentally selected the audio CD version on here.

When I saw that there was a second book on this topic that came out this year, I was very intrigued. I read Chris Wylie's book about a month ago, and I was shocked and appalled and it led to my refusing to post any more information on Facebook ever again. (I can't delete it, regrettably, for personal reasons) This book, to me at least, seems infinitely more credible. Not only is it a fuller account of
...more
Karolina Kinga
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was ok
Brittany ends her book saying “I’m an eternal optimist” and having read it cover to cover I can only say: that’s not how you spell “opportunist”.
Roshni Bhattacharya
One book I'd recommend to all to read in this day and age when data is gold! Humans have ceased to exist. To corporations we are just a bunch of datasets and social media platforms are ready to give us up for a quick buck (well, a lot of bucks). It was scary to see how companies like Cambridge Analytica were capable of shaking the very foundation on which the pillars of democracy stands. Anybody who is interested in BIg Data and its consequences on the world, should definitely get their hands on ...more
Ietrio
Oct 22, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: junk
The evil one percenters are hiring powerful sorcerers that are putting you under a spell. Here's Kaiser, the paladin "telling it how it is".
Rhiannon
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
A must read. Kaiser does not come across well at all - clearly an opportunist rather than a whistle blower - but her account of the use and misuse of data and targeted advertising in elections globally (including the Trump and Leave campaigns) is eye opening and deeply worrying.
Joy
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Holy S***

Although I had some awareness of the Cambridge Analytica story, I was horrified to learn the enormous and somewhat invisible role they played in the Cruz’ campaign, Trump’s election, Brexit and others. Even more frightening is what big data and corrupt players mean for future elections and, not to be too alarmist, but democracy in general. I so appreciate that Brittany Kaiser has had the courage to be a whistle blower and written this book. I need a few days to think about what I can do
...more
Epsilon
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After seeing the Netflix movie I approached this title with a huge dose of scepticism. While reading it however it stirred up lots of emotions and thoughts and it also challenged me to revisit my own positions in respect to data privacy and fake news. And I think that this is something we need to do more often these days.
The book might not be an easy read for every one due to heavy use of reference to data analytical topics in some parts - regardless I find It a fascinating and important read
...more
Iuri
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it
If one must remain skeptical of self biographies, because every self narrative is a fiction to a lesser or extended degree, what does one make of a self biography of a PR who used psychops, behavioral data, and other methods of persuasion and propaganda, in order to target persuadable individuals into changing their political behavior, or even suppress their right to vote?

The most interesting parts of the book are when the author describes the strategies and propaganda used in order to change
...more
Ryan Eagan
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brittany provides yet another lens in which to view the CA/SCL. The topic of CA/SCL and the world events that have resulted from their work highly interests me. As any good individual should, one must gather as much information to help build the best understanding they can of any subject. Brittany's book tells her personal story during her time with CA which includes the struggles and insights into her worldview. She demonstrates that she is human, she is fallible, and willing to face and then ...more
Nicholas
Dec 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Good review here. https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/09/bo...

Fascinating and horrifying. Would imagine most people thinking about reading this in 2019 know that firms microtargeted voters, but the almost unbelievably cynical degree of manipulation is breathtaking.

Suffers from the author’s occasional effort to make the story a little more narrative (“the lapels of his trenchcoat flapped in the tropical wind” or whatever) and constant effort to absolve herself of participating in this shit.
Beth Menendez
Jan 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
3.5 Stars. The content is important to get across but in The author’s attempt at being honest, she comes across as whiney and very immature at times. I do not actually need to know that she seemed to be a functional alcoholic while she worked for CA. I want to know why what CA is a big deal and why their actions should never be repeated. Still, the topic overall is a good first step into the topic of data security.
Neeraj Kumar
Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Brittany Kaiser gives a personal account of her journey highlighting what led her to Cambridge Analytica, what happened there and how she came out stronger to tell the tale to all of us.
Fascinating read if you want to understand how our data is being used for behavioral micro-targeting. Using data and micro-targeting in politics and elections can have far reaching consequences as shown in Brexit referendum and US elections!
Vasya
Jan 14, 2020 rated it liked it
“Governments no longer needed to send the police or military out into the streets to stop protests. They could instead change people’s minds simply by paying to target them on the very screens in their hands.”

The overall experience of the book is quite disappointing. I expected to get more professional insights into targeting and marketing technics, but the book is mostly about the daily life of the sales manager.
Megan
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very informative, factual book.
This book was informative and available for all using easy to understand language and explanations.
Definately gave me a shock as I didn't realise how much data I gave away by being online and even how it was used by third parties.
Definately recommend this book for all.
A
Jan 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
It was good, I wish there were more details on how CA actually operated, their techniques (details on targeting), costs, other countries they did this for (aside from the 3 she mentioned), and which other platforms other than FB was used and why not. A bit more information on what Data Scientists did, and how.
Chris
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Excellent book, very informative, scary when democracy is being "manipulated" in the hands of white far right men from the UK and the USA: if you think Trump or Brexit are about democracy, you are getting it wrong... This is racism driven politics.
Antonio Parrilla
Sinceramente mi aspettavo un approfondimento maggiore sulla vicenda relativa ai dati e alla "propaganda", mentre viene dato molto spazio alle sensazioni dell'autrice, che a me non hanno interessato.
Anthony Molaro
A very interesting look at how big data, data science, predictive modeling, and marketing played a role in the election of Trump and the vote for Brexit.
Javier Castillo Villar
No se cree la película ni ella. Vaya colección de mentiras.
Giulia
Nov 08, 2019 rated it liked it
Definitely an interesting read if you want to learn more about the CA scandal and data micro-targeting. However, it's poorly written and Kaiser often digresses in unnecessary self-pity.
Arslan Manzoor
rated it it was amazing
Dec 25, 2019
Marco Molè
rated it liked it
Jan 17, 2020
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