We presented our research on the impact of algorithmic design on diversity of the output at the 3rd International Conference on Computational Social Science in Cologne. Algorithms preform a lot better than we expected, at least when they select articles from a broadsheet newspaper.
Damian and Judith gave a talk at Bessensap, an annual event organized by the Dutch Science Foundation, where scholars present their work to science journalists. In their talk, they gave an overview over their finished and ongoing research, highlighting the discrepancy between popular beliefs about around filter bubbles and algorithmic news recommendation and empirical evidence.
Together with colleagues from IViR, Frederik, published a new study, “An assessment of the Commission’s Proposal on Privacy and Electronic Communications” (by Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius, Joris van Hoboken, Ronan Fahy, Kristina Irion, and Max Rozendaal).
This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, appraises the European Commission’s proposal for an ePrivacy Regulation. The study assesses whether the proposal would ensure that the right to the protection of personal data, the right to respect for private life and communications, and related rights enjoy a high standard of protection. The study also highlights the proposal’s potential benefits and drawbacks more generally. The proposed ePrivacy Regulation aims to protect privacy on the internet, and includes rules on, for instance, online tracking.
Read the full study here.
Frederik presented the preliminary results at the European Parliament. A video is available here (from 26:00 minutes on).
Earlier this year, Frederik also spoke at the European Parliament about the ePrivacy proposal, video here.
Our Commerce team (Sophie Boerman, Sanne Kruikemeier and Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius) just published an article in the Literature Review Corner of Journal of Advertising about Online Behavioral Advertising. In their article, they provide an overview of the empirical, academic research regarding OBA. For example, they discuss consumers’ privacy concerns, the effects of OBA on purchases and click through rates, and whether transparency approaches help consumers understand the practice (they don’t).
Advertisers are increasingly monitoring people’s online behavior and using the information collected to show people individually targeted advertisements. This phenomenon is called online behavioral advertising (OBA). Although advertisers can benefit from OBA, the practice also raises concerns about privacy. Therefore, OBA has received much attention from advertisers, consumers, policymakers, and scholars. Despite this attention, there is neither a strong definition of OBA nor a clear accumulation of empirical findings. This article defines OBA and provides an overview of the empirical findings by developing a framework that identifies and integrates all factors that can explain consumer responses toward OBA. The framework suggests that the outcomes of OBA are dependent on advertiser-controlled factors (e.g., the level of personalization) and consumer-controlled factors (e.g., knowledge and perceptions about OBA and individual characteristics). The article also overviews the theoretical positioning of OBA by placing the theories that are used to explain consumers’ responses to OBA in our framework. Finally, we develop a research agenda and discuss implications for policymakers and advertisers.
You can find the article here: (Open Access)
Under the aegis of the Personalized Communication Research Priority Area of the University of Amsterdam, the Institute for Information Law, and the Amsterdam School of Communication Research organize a one day symposium on the theory and practice of political micro-targeting. The symposium discusses papers submitted to the upcoming special issue of the Internet Policy Review on the topic.
Date: Friday, 22 September 2017
Location: Room A5.24 REC IViR building, Nieuwe Achtergracht 166, 1018 WV Amsterdam
The Huibregtsen award exists since 2005 and is awarded to research projects that succeed in combining academic excellence with societally relevant research. The price will be awarded at the Avond van de Wetenschap on 9 October.
The report of the jury (in Dutch) can be found here.
Avond van Wetenschap en Maatschappij
Damian wrote a blogpost in which he comments on the current debate on the role of algorithms. He argues that – while there are valid reasons to be concerned – critics who see algoritms as evil or scary per se, miss the point and hinder a constructive debate.
Het fascinerende spookbeeld: Hoe irrationele argumenten het debat over kunstmatige intelligentie bemoeilijken
Researchers from the Personalised Communication project presented various papers at TILTing Perspectives 2017: Regulating a connected world, a conference organized by Tilburg University from 17-19 May. The conference brought together researchers, practitioners, policy makers, and civil society at the intersection of law and regulation, technology, and society, and provided a great opportunity to exchange ideas and make new connections.
Marijn presented a paper on mobile health apps, privacy and autonomy. Frederik chaired several panels, among which a panel on price discrimination. A paper cowritten by Bálazs, Frederik, Kristina, Judith, Natali, and Claes was presented, discussing the technological, legal, ethical, and organizational infrastructures of research into algorithmic agents. Another paper presented was written by Balázs, Judith, and Natali, and concerned the conditions under which people accept news personalization. Sarah presented her paper on how news personalization affects the right to receive information.
Kristina gave a talk on COMMUNICATION AND USER RIGHTS at the National Day of Communication congress 2017. This year it took place on the 17th of May on the campus of the University of Twente in Enschede.
At the center of all communications is the user but accounts about them vary: Are users exploited netslaves, or are they creative prosumers, or probably mixture of both? In her talk she discussed various communication users’ rights arising in the landscape of online services, such as the right to privacy, the right to be forgotten, the right to receive information, and the right not to be discriminated against. She acquainted the participants with users who have made an entry into the story of modern communication rights. She closes with a call for respect of user rights online which ultimately benefits all, individuals, business and society at large.
In de 56e aflevering van de podcast Onder Mediadoctoren spreken dr. Linda Duits en dr. Vincent Crone met dr. Sophie Boerman over in welke mate adverteerders kunnen inzoomen op de consument, of reclames altijd als zodanig worden herkend en welke rol ethiek hierbij speelt.
De podcast kan hier bekeken en geluisterd worden:
Afl 56: Persoonstargeting
Bekijk ook aflevering 50, met daarin dr. Sanne Kruikemeier over filterbubbels: