Online Manipulation: Hidden Influences in a Digital World

Cite as: 4 GEO. L. TECH. REV. 1 (2019)

Privacy and surveillance scholars increasingly worry that data collectors can use the information they gather about our behaviors,1 preferences, interests, incomes, and so on to manipulate us. Consider: investigative journalists recently discovered that Facebook allows advertisers to target vulnerable teenagers at moments when they feel “worthless” and “insecure.”2 “Sharing economy” firms like the ride-hailing company Uber have explored ways to influence not only the behavior of their customers but also that of their drivers, raising concerns about potential manipulation in the workplace.3 And recent elections in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, and elsewhere have raised questions about the use of similar techniques to manipulate democratic political processes.4

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Daniel Susser, Beate Roessler, Helen Nissenbaum

Daniel Susser
Assistant Professor, Penn State University

Beate Roessler
Professor of Ethics, University of Amsterdam

Helen Nissenbaum
Professor of Information Science, Cornell Tech