These days thousands of companies are tracking and analyzing our everyday activities – cross-browser, cross-platform, cross-device and even offline. During the development of the award-winning serious game Data Dealer, the Austrian digital rights activist Wolfie Christl spent several years researching issues of digital tracking and consumer privacy. He recently published an extensive study on global trends corporate surveillance in the age of Big Data and Internet of Things, based on a comprehensive review of academic literature, news articles and corporate resources.
At re:publica 2015 he will give an entertaining yet in-depth overview about his research results:
- To what extent do companies really track our daily lives in 2015? How do they aggregate, process and exploit our personal data?
- What can be predicted from our purchases, phone calls, Facebook likes and other metadata when using state-of-the-art analytics technology?
- How is predictive analytics based on personal data already being used in the fields of marketing, retail, insurance, banking and human resources?
- Which devices and platforms, such as smartphone apps or fitness trackers, are collecting our data? Will the upcoming Internet of Things lead to ubiquitous surveillance?
- How do data brokers and ad networks from all over the world profit from our data?
The societal implications of ubiquitous corporate surveillance could be drastic – from (price) discrimination and social sorting to exclusion of marginalized groups. So, how to minimize the risks while maximizing the benefits of information technology? What needs to happen? What should politics, civil society, companies and individuals do?
Wolfie Christl: Digital Tracking and Corporate Surveillance. Collecting, Analyzing and Selling Personal Data in the Age of Big Data: Global Trends, Examples, Risks and Challenges. Vienna, November 2014.
„Die beste Privacy Studie seit Jahren“ (Sarah Spiekermann)