I´m very happy that our special issue “The Tracked Society: Interdisciplinary Approaches on Online Tracking” is out at New Media & Society. I edited it together with colleagues from the ABIDA-project: Steffen Uphues, Verena Vogt and Barbara Kolany-Raiser. Find out more:
Online tracking in its various forms is a backbone of digitalization that has sparked hopes and fears alike: It opens up new opportunities for users and businesses as it enables individually targeted content. At the same time, the encompassing tracking of often unaware and ill-informed users and the opaque practices of data procession has alarmed critics from multiple sides. How can we better understand but also proactively and constructively shape the emerging Tracked Society? Our special issues seek to shed light on these questions from various perspectives and disciplines. In this introduction, we give a brief overview of the topic in general and our special issue in particular.
Watching the Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma” was my latest experience with a long list of dystopian takes on internet and society. Just a glimpse on the recent books below gives an impression of how pessimistic the outlook on this once welcomed technology has become. This motivated me to think more about it in a new post for the FemLab.Co blog titled:
I’m happy to have contributed to an interesting special issue in First Monday edited by Payal Arora and Hallam Stevens on “Data-driven models of governance across borders”. My article focuses on lay perspectives on big data and is based on three citizen conferences we conducted in the ABIDA-project. You can read it open access here.
After co-organizing the Society of the Query #2 conference I had the chance to edit a related book with Miriam Rasch as part of the Institute of Network Cultures´ exciting reader series. It´s out now and it´s completely open access!
Read it online, download it or order a copy for free here.
About the book: Looking up something online is one of the most common applications of the web. Whether with a laptop or smartphone, we search the web from wherever we are, at any given moment. ‘Googling’ has become so entwined in our daily routines that we rarely question it. However, search engines such as Google or Bing determine what part of the web we get to see, shaping our knowledge and perceptions of the world. But there is a world beyond Google – geographically, culturally, and technologically.
The Society of the Query network was founded in 2009 to delve into the larger societal and cultural consequences that are triggered by search technology. In this Reader, which is published after two conferences held in Amsterdam in 2009 and 2013, twenty authors – new media scholars, historians, computer scientists, and artists – try to answer a number of pressing questions about online search. What are the foundations of web search? What ideologies and assumptions are inscribed in search engine algorithms? What solution can be formulated to deal with Google’s monopoly in the future? Are alternatives to Google even thinkable? What influence does online search have on education practices? How do artists use the abundance of data that search engines provide in their creative work? By bringing researchers together from a variety of relevant disciplines, we aim at opening up new perspectives on the Society of the Query.