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So-called “native advertising” ─where advertiser-produced or –directed content is designed to blend in with online editorial information ─ is quickly becoming a dominant way American consumers receive marketing. Marketers in the U.S. spent nearly $8 billion last year on native ads (up $3 billion from 2013), which is expected to rise to $21 billion by2018.1 Native ads are where the “format and the tone match that of a publisher’s original editorial content.2

The digital data “arms race” that is propelling major companies around the world to expand their data collection, consumer profiling, and online targeting capabilities illustrates how information from and about us drives the commercial (and increasingly political) marketplaces.

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