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Title: A sociotechnical exploration of online behavioural tracking and advertising technologies and practices
Author: Hardcastle, Faranak
ISNI:       0000 0004 8510 3729
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2019
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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.
Supervisor: Weal, Mark Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available