DATA POLITICS – University of Copenhagen

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DATA POLITICS

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The Centre for Social Data Science is pleased to announce its Fall Lecture Series 2018. Focusing on the theme of “Data Politics”, SODAS has invited speakers to reflect on the role of politics in the age of (big) data. Speaking on themes such as political elections, fake news, data privacy and the globalization of data, the lectures will present cutting edge research on the political challenges the digital revolution presents us with, and the methodological innovations needed to study them.


Tracking the trackers. How regional variations in internet policy and business models shape web surfers exposure to third-party tracking services in EU28.

Our first speakers are Rasmus Helles, Stine Lomborg and Signe Sophus Lai from The People’s Internet project, Department of Media, Cognition and Communication, University of Copenhagen.

Abstract

The scandal surrounding Cambridge Analytica sparked international concern about the lack of privacy regarding information collected about web users by giant internet companies. The practice of tracking extends beyond Facebook and Alphabet, and comprises an infrastructure which rely on services provided by a myriad of companies specialising in information collection and aggregation. Tracking also require active participation by website managers, who decide which tracking software is be installed on their servers. We present a mapping of the use of the tracking infrastructure by the 2 000 + most popular websites in Europe. We segregate the sites into clusters based on their use of trackers, and relate key differences between them to regulatory and political decisions, which have helped shape the conditions of development for the world wide web in Europe. Among the key findings are strong patterns of regionalisation within Europe, which point to the enduring influence of policy decisions made in the late 1990s. The project was initiated as part of The Peoples’ Internet-project, sponsored by the Carlsberg Foundation, which aims to map differences between the use and development of internet infrastructure in Europe, the US and China. Our talk is initiated by a brief introduction to the PIN project.

Lectures will take place in Building 35, Floor 3, Room 20 (35.3.20) of the CSS Campus, Copenhagen University, from 11.00am - 12.30pm.

If you have questions or want to know more, please write Agnete Vienberg Hansen at avh@econ.ku.dk.