Workshop: Privacy and Data-Driven Elections with Professor Colin J. Bennett

Together with Professor Colin J. Bennett from the University of Victoria (Canada) our research group hosted a two-day online-seminar on the topic of Privacy and Data-Driven Elections. We know that privacy is important for democracy. Until recently, we have known relatively little about how privacy has been compromised by democracy – by the agents that seek to mobilize, engage and encourage us to vote – or not to vote. That situation has obviously changed, rapidly and dramatically. The publicity about the activities of Cambridge Analytica (CA) and the harvesting of Facebook data through third party applications have achieved extraordinary global prominence. Together with Professor Colin J. Bennett, co-author of the report „Privacy, Voter Surveillance and Democratic Engagement“ (PDF) we spoke about the macro-effects of data-driven elections and micro-targeting and how they have surfaced in different democratic countries. Aditionally, we explored the various policy solutions for the regulation of data-driven elections protection, the various roles for advocates, NGOs and different national regulators and potential future research opportunities for social scientists and legal scholars.