Author: sophie

New publication: A literature review of Online Behavioral Advertising

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)


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:

SWOCC Meeting about Personalized Communication, March 21

On Tuesday, March 21, SWOCC (Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Commerciële Communicatie) is organizing a meeting about Personalized Communication. This meeting is the official launch of Joanna Strycharz’s PhD project about Personalized Communication.

Many of our team members will present their work. The meeting takes place at CREA and starts at 13:00.


dr. Sophie Boerman
Assistant professor Communicatiewetenschap – UvA

prof. dr. Natali Helberger
Hoogleraar informatierecht – Instituut voor informatierecht

dr. Sanne Kruikemeier
Assistant professor Communicatiewetenschap – UvA

Jaime Infante Ferreira, MSc
Operations manager – Lead Today

Joanna Strycharz, MSc
Promovendus – SWOCC/UvA

For more details, see the official invitation

Join our Personalized Communication Preconference at Etmaal van de Communicatiewetenschap

On Thursday January 26, there will be a preconference about Personalized Communication organized by members of our team.

The preconference aims to contribute to the debate regarding personalized communication, by bringing together researchers from the Netherlands and Belgium that study personalized communication. By assembling these researchers, we aim to discuss research that addresses all fields of personalized communication, including journalism, political communication, advertising, health communication. By discussing our research, we aim to identify ongoing research regarding personalized communication, and address theoretical, methodological, and ethical issues related to this research. For instance, we want to detect where there may be theoretical and methodological differences and overlap and stimulate a discussion about these theories and methods. In addition, we hope to discuss shared research ideas, inspire researchers, and bring about new research collaborations.

Interested? You are very welcome to join the preconference!

Who: All researchers interested in personalized communication and that are going to Etmaal 2017
When: Thursday January 26, 10:15-11:15
Where: Tilburg University, Dante building, DZ6
More information:

After Facebook and Twitter, Instagram will also personalize feed

You may be surprised to learn that people miss on average 70 percent of their feeds. As Instagram has grown, it’s become harder to keep up with all the photos and videos people share. This means you often don’t see the posts you might care about the most. To improve your experience, your feed will soon be ordered to show the moments we believe you will care about the most. The order of photos and videos in your feed will be based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post. As we begin, we’re focusing on optimizing the order — all the posts will still be there, just in a different order. If your favorite musician shares a video from last night’s concert, it will be waiting for you when you wake up, no matter how many accounts you follow or what time zone you live in. And when your best friend posts a photo of her new puppy, you won’t miss it. We’re going to take time to get this right and listen to your feedback along the way. You’ll see this new experience in the coming months.

Source: See the Moments You Care About First

Apple Developers Must Now Agree To Ad Identifier Rules Or Risk App Store Rejection

Apple has just updated a section in iTunes Connect, the service mobile developers use to distribute and update their applications on the iTunes App Store,..

That setting enables users to control whether or not advertisers can serve them ads targeted to their interests, and can be reset at any time by going to “Settings–>Privacy–>Advertising–>Reset Advertising Identifier” in iOS’s Settings app. Broadly speaking, this is the iOS equivalent to wiping your cookies.

Source: Apple Developers Must Now Agree To Ad Identifier Rules Or Risk App Store Rejection

Blog: Personalised ads attract more attention

Sophie Boerman wrote a blog for SWOCC (Stichting Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Commerciële Communicatie – the Dutch Foundation for Research in Commercial Communication) about a recent eye tracking study that examined the effects of personalised advertisements.

The study, conducted by Bang & Wojdinsky, showed that consumers pay more attention to ads that are personalised by using their name, location, and their current university than to non-personalised ads.

You can find Sophie’s blog (in Dutch) here:

This graphic novel may actually motivate you to read the iTunes terms & conditions

American artist Robert Sikoryak thinks he may have found a way to persuade us to read the iTunes terms and conditions: he’s turning them into a graphic novel, aka a lengthy comic. The Tumblr was spotted by TNW.

Sikoryak’s illustrations of the terms span over three volumes, documenting the entire agreement. It jumps between famous illustration styles and includes Steve Jobs as Tin Tin, Snoopy and even superhero Steve Jobs.

I still very much doubt I’m going to read the whole thing, but it’s a safe bet visitors to the Tumblr will read more of it than they ever have before.

Source: This graphic novel may actually motivate you to read the iTunes terms & conditions …

Amsterdam Privacy Week & Amsterdam Privacy Conference

From 23-29 October 2015, Amsterdam will be the place to be for privacy and data protection specialist from across the globe as three renowned international privacy conferences have chosen Amsterdam as their location that week.

* The Amsterdam Privacy Conference APC2015 takes place from 23-26 October.

This unique interdisciplinary conference is taking place at the intimate venue of the Oudemanhuispoort in the heart of Amsterdam, The Netherlands. It is organized by the Amsterdam Platform for Privacy Research (APPR), an initiative of the University of Amsterdam with active participants from such diverse disciplines as philosophy, law, economics, informatics, social sciences, medical sciences and media sciences. APC 2015 will bring together leading experts in the field of privacy who will formulate, discuss and answer the challenging privacy questions that lie ahead of us.

APC 2015 offers both parallel and keynote sessions. Confirmed keynote speakers are: Anita Allen, Bill Binney, Julie Brill, Gabriella Coleman, Amatai Etzioni, Viktor Mayer-Schönberger, Deirdre Mulligan, Helen Nissenbaum, Peter Schaar, Max Schrems, Ashkan Soltani and Latanya Sweeney.

Our team member are busy doing the conference.
– We organise a panel on ‘Profiling and targeting in the news sector’, with Neil Richards, Judith Möller, Neil Thurman, and Maurits Martijn.
– Balázs moderates two panels.
– Damian will present the paper ‘Should we worry about filter bubbles?’, by Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius, Damian Trilling, Judith Möller, Balázs Bodó, Claes H. de Vreese, and Natali Helberger.
With Solon Barocas (Princeton), Frederik organises a panel on ‘Online Price Discrimination: Good or Bad?’, with Julie Brill (Federal Trade Commission), Chantal Mak, and Colin Bennett.
– Frederik also presents a paper: ‘Online price discrimination and data protection law’.
– Natali is co-chair of the track ‘The Transformation of the public sphere and personalised communication’
– Frederik is chair of the track ‘Privacy in the Information Society’.

* The same week, there is also the PLSC Privacy Law Scholars Conference.
Natali & Frederik will both comment on papers there.

* The 37th International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners Conference also takes place this week

* On 28 October, the Bits of Freedom organises the Big Brother Awards