A User-Centered Perspective on Algorithmic Personalization
Project Summary: Algorithmic inference is increasingly used to personalize the content users see online. My project team wanted to bring the voice of users to existing policy discussions around the inference of personal information and its use to target advertising, search results, and pricing.
Method: We designed a survey instrument to measure user attitudes toward algorithmic personalization and collected results from 750 users on Amazon Mechanical Turk.
My Role: Research planning, survey design, survey analysis, writing, and outreach
This project was a collaboration with Rena Coen and Pavel Vanegas as part of our master's work at UC Berkeley and with the Center for Democracy and Technology. It was supported by the Center for Technology, Society & Policy and the Center for Long-Term Cybersecurity at Berkeley.
We presented our work in multiple venues and co-authored blog posts with the Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT). Our work has been cited in the press and CDT continues to draw on this research in their policy advocacy work.
Conferences and Presentations
- Privacy Law Scholars Conference (Washington, DC, June 2016): Presented our work and received feedback in a panel discussion
- Federal Trade Commission (Washington, DC, June 2016): Presented our findings to staff at the Office of Technology Research and Investigation
- Briefing at the U.S. House of Representatives (Washington, DC, June 2016): Shared our findings with the House Minority Chief Consumer Protection Counsel
- Involving Critical Stakeholders in Algorithm and Drone Policy (San Francisco, CA, May 2016): Presented our work at a public event in San Francisco
- UC Berkeley School of Information Final Project Showcase (Berkeley, CA, May 2016): Presented our findings at a showcase for all Master's of Information Management and Systems final projects at UC Berkeley
Blogs, Press, etc.
- CDT and Berkeley Research Reveals Important Insight into Fairness in Online Personalization, Center for Democracy and Technology, May 2016