Extended talk (45 min): Internet tracking, tracing, profiling ... and manipulation?
Is there a subtle form of manipulation as a result of tracking and profiling?
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Tracking, the practice of collecting user data when browsing or using apps, may be perceived as a side effect of any internet usage. Tracking-based profiling is seemingly unnoticeable. Thus, individualised advertisement or behavioural targeting may not necessarily worry users.
However, research suggests that the lack of transparency yields to information asymmetry between trackers and everyone else. Some allege that targeted advertising is not limited to the commercial sphere. They argue that manipulation, i. e. violation of the target's autonomy, may render some people vulnerable to the whims of those who control the tracking and profiling apparatus.
This talk will give an introduction to some tracking, tracing and profiling methods. How does tracking differ from tracing? Should concerned users grapple with technical remedies? Conversely, should providers assume tracking to be effective? Is "Everyone Else Does It" a reasonable business practice? Could companies gain competitive advantages by standing out from the crowd?