TILTing Perspectives 2017: Regulating a connected world

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 Irion talks at the National Day of Communication 2017

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.


Sophie Boerman in podcast over gepersonaliseerde reclame

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:

N. Helberger in panel about Platforms and Diversity at re:publica & Media Convention Berlin

Ein großer Teil der Inhalte, die wir täglich im Internet konsumieren, werden von den Algorithmen der marktmächtigen Plattformen und sozialen Netzwerken zusammengestellt und sortiert. Künstliche Intelligenz spielt bei der Auswahl der Inhalte in den Feeds der Nutzer eine immer größere Rolle. An welcher Stelle können Regulierungsmaßnahmen und Verbraucherschutz ansetzen, um Nutzerautonomie, Transparenz und Zugang zu sichern? Wie können wir Meinungsvielfalt und Auffindbarkeit gewährleisten? Sollen Plattformen die Entscheidungen allein treffen oder müssen Datenschutz, Kartellrecht und Rundfunkrecht Grenzen setzen? Kann man Algorithmen überhaupt regulieren? Müssen wir etwas gegen Filter Bubbles tun?

Source: Vielfalt statt Filter. Digitale Plattformen im Fokus der Regulierung | re:publica & Media Convention Berlin

Talks and Workshops on Big Data

On Tuesday, Damian gave a lecture “Big Data: Why social scientists should care” at the Amsterdam Research Initiative, discussing the role of Big Data in society as well as in research. He argued that social scientists on the one hand have to observe the role of so-called Big Data as a societal phenomenon, but on the other hand also can make use of these techniques to answer social-scientific research questions. Directly before, he had given a two-day workshop on the use of Python to answer social-scientific research questions at Radboud University Nijmegen.

The power of algorithms – closing debate of the SGKM

Judith was invited to participate in the closing debate of the annual meeting of the Swiss Association of Communication Science (SGKM) on «The power of algorithms: societal, economic and political implications»  with Michael Latzer (IPMZ Universität Zürich), René Pfitzer (Lead Data Scientist, Neue Zürcher Zeitung), Jens Kaessner (Telecomjurist BAKOM), Urs Karrer (Digital Consulting Practice Lead IBM Schweiz);
Convener: Konstantin Dörr (Research and Teaching Associate Universität Zürich)
The panel was co-organised by the group Medienpolitik, Medienstrukturen und Mediengeschichte.


Personalised communiction in dialogue with artists

On Thursday Judith presented our work at the first edition of unfair current practice in Pakhuis de Zwijger. The  focus of the event was the relationship between image, creator and user. What are the aesthetic conditions for producing  ‘truth’? How do artists use the method of pop propaganda in mass media in their own work? How do they respond to the climate of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’? And is there space for research into truth-finding in the art? The evening aimed to interface between media, visual arts and the public and uses art to make sense of current visual questions.


Spui25: Who controls the algorithms?

The Personalised Communication team organised an engaging afternoon panel discussion at academic-cultural center Spui25 in Amsterdam: “Who controls the algorithms?.


The topic of the discussion was algorithms in the online information environment, and if and how we should control them. Sanne Kruikemeier presented some ongoing research about how citizens view the algorithmic society, how concerned citizens are about algorithms, and to what extent citizens are actually able to protect themselves against algorithms. Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius discussed algorithmic pricing in e-commerce, and asked if this is fair, or if it is maybe only fair if rich people pay more, or if just pricing based on illegal discrimination is unfair. Sarah Eskens reviewed some of the arguments that are made against regulating algorithms, and challenged the audience to think about regulatory options by explaining different regulatory strategies and regulatory examples from other (information) law areas. Marleen Elshof from the Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science talked about the effect of algorithms on public objectives in media policy, and the questions that policy makers struggle with in this area. Balázs Bodó moderated the event and the discussion that followed with the audience.