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A sociotechnical exploration of online behavioural tracking and advertising technologies and practices

A sociotechnical exploration of online behavioural tracking and advertising technologies and practices
A sociotechnical exploration of online behavioural tracking and advertising technologies and practices
As the Web evolved and extended to its current scale it has been driven by a range of divergent and competing visions about its constitution, purpose and future. The original vision of a global knowledge sharing system is now subsumed by a range of business models driven largely by monetising consumer data and metadata. Online Behavioural Tracking and Advertising (OBTA) constitute major business models underlying the Web today. Therefore, understanding OBTA is critical for thinking about the future of the Web. However, lack of transparency in OBTA technologies and practices has made developing such understanding challenging. This thesis explores if and how a sociotechnical intervention for systematic communication of operational details in OBTA can be imagined. Informed by social theory and Science and Technologies Studies (STS), this exploration involves conceptualising a model for documenting and querying provenance of analytic and administrative operational details behind a targeted ad within the framework of speculative design using software engineering methods and W3C PROV, and conducting key informant interviews to explore if and how the model could be imagined to come to use, and provoke wider discussions. The research contributes to a sociotechnical understanding of OBTA and the dynamics of its present state that is required for a sociotechnical future making for the Web.
University of Southampton
Hardcastle, Faranak
cb31a68c-d47b-4ac6-93ff-058c0800d38f
Hardcastle, Faranak
cb31a68c-d47b-4ac6-93ff-058c0800d38f
Weal, Mark
e8fd30a6-c060-41c5-b388-ca52c81032a4

Hardcastle, Faranak (2019) A sociotechnical exploration of online behavioural tracking and advertising technologies and practices. University of Southampton, Doctoral Thesis, 243pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

As the Web evolved and extended to its current scale it has been driven by a range of divergent and competing visions about its constitution, purpose and future. The original vision of a global knowledge sharing system is now subsumed by a range of business models driven largely by monetising consumer data and metadata. Online Behavioural Tracking and Advertising (OBTA) constitute major business models underlying the Web today. Therefore, understanding OBTA is critical for thinking about the future of the Web. However, lack of transparency in OBTA technologies and practices has made developing such understanding challenging. This thesis explores if and how a sociotechnical intervention for systematic communication of operational details in OBTA can be imagined. Informed by social theory and Science and Technologies Studies (STS), this exploration involves conceptualising a model for documenting and querying provenance of analytic and administrative operational details behind a targeted ad within the framework of speculative design using software engineering methods and W3C PROV, and conducting key informant interviews to explore if and how the model could be imagined to come to use, and provoke wider discussions. The research contributes to a sociotechnical understanding of OBTA and the dynamics of its present state that is required for a sociotechnical future making for the Web.

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A Sociotechnical Exploration of Online Behavioural Tracking and Advertising Technologies and Practices - Version of Record
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Published date: December 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 438584
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/438584
PURE UUID: 8170295a-3753-4865-9d01-6e81c1c27c8a
ORCID for Mark Weal: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-6251-8786

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 17 Mar 2020 17:34
Last modified: 18 Mar 2020 01:25

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