The extraordinary revelations from the Observer/Channel 4 investigation into the practices of the digital marketing firm Cambridge Analytica have, like many a great internet controversy, produced great outrage but few answers or ways forward. People are rightly horrified at the prospect of such comprehensive personal information being used to manipulate them by the million, but also daunted by the task of correcting it.
Everyone encounters big data: via social media, financial transactions and public transport. Although all of these things are useful and fascinating, they simultaneously arouse feelings of discomfort: how far does the – largely invisible – influence of all of these data collections reach? In this article republished from Green European Journal, they interview Marleen Stikker, an expert who has been following developments in this sphere since the beginning of the digital era.