Like any profession, academia has its fads. Over the past several years, Cultural Studies departments have focussed on memory - how it works, what it means. Politicized debates have sprung up over how to interpret the past, whether some areas of the past (such as the histories of the World Wars) are the preserves of particular political camps. That is not new. Nor is it completely new that techniques and theories previously developed in cultural historical studies - are now applied in branding strategies and social networking, along with some psychological and anthropological data. Intrusive marketing methods already attempt to find out what makes us tick in order to target us with products. For example, there is a report out (here) that movie screens will be equipped with infra-red cameras to gauge people's reactions to advertising and probably the film itself. The cameras will scan audience members' faces and record their emotions. What is new is that marketers also aim to get into our past personal histories - and change them.
There is a post on Read Write Web (here) that suggests that Facebook will likely start product placements in people's private photographs. Our memories and our pasts constituted marketable territory.