Donald Trump's victory in last year's presidential election was a seismic political shock, but also served as a wake-up call about the ways that digital technology can shape outcomes both at the ballot box and, presumably, the check-out counter.

On the one hand, Trump's relationship with Cambridge Analytica – an enterprise claiming to posses 5,000 datapoints on 220 million American adults, and that uses algorithms and other automated tools in tapping "more than 100 data variables to model target audience groups and predict the behavior of like-minded people" – was perceived as a central component of his marketing strategy.

And, on the other, the rise of "fake news" – epitomized by fabricated tales regarding the Pope's support for Trump – was another factor brought into focus by the race for The White House. The issue, in turn, fed into wider concerns about "filter bubbles," as social-media users read then spread inaccurate stories among "like-minded" peers on Facebook, but receive little information from opposing viewpoints.