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Virtual Conference on Political Targeting & Privacy

Monday, February 15, 2021



Topics for breakout sessions will follow according to the topical interests of the participants.

8:30-9:00: Welcome and introductions• Outline of the day
• Objectives
• Areas of expertise represented
9:00-9:30: Opening plenary
10:00-10:45: Breakout session 1Effects & Determinants

  • (How) can we systematically define the array of possible determinants?

  • Are there groups that are more open towards microtargeting than others (and why)?

  • Are there groups that are more vulnerable than others (and why)?
  • (How) can we identify such groups and (how) can we protect/address them?

  • Can transparency (e.g., ad libraries) mitigate potential negative effects on users’ perception of privacy?

  • Which effects of microtargeting do we know of?

  • Is the process of identifying who is targeted (with what content by which party) – even for a good reason – an invasion to users’ privacy (and therefore has a negative effect on their perception of privacy)?

  • How do we handle the fact that (protection against) targeting will not work for everyone in the same way and with the same efficiency?

10:45-11:00: Break
11:00-12:00: Breakout groups present back to everyone
12:00-12:45: Lunch
12:45-1:30: Breakout session 2Literacy & normativity

  • Do individual inspections of targeted ad libraries encourage privacy literacy – or is privacy literacy, and
    not just awareness, a precondition for retrieving and using targeted ad libraries?

  • Should we provide different levels of information and transparency (e.g. full information vs. easily
    understandable information) for audiences with different digital skills – or is that targeting itself?

  • What should voters know about targeting? What are relevant dimensions of “targeting-knowledge”?

Normativity and democracy:
  • Does the assumption of informed consent, which forms the legal basis in many cases, still hold?

  • What would be an alternative?

  • Providing information is always a kind of persuasion, isn’t it?

  • Thus, where does “good” persuasion end and where does “bad” persuasion begin?

  • Right to privacy vs. civic responsibility: Is it possible to inform and mobilize voters in the age of digital
    campaigning without infringing their privacy?

1:30-2:30: Breakout groups present back to everyone
2:30-2:45: Break
2:45-3:45: Collaboration organization and next steps
3:45-4:15: Closing remarks