Want to do a PhD with me?

Each year, ITU publishes an open call for PhDs. This year, I have two projects in it, and they may be of interest for some of you.

Big Tech in the Danish online ecosystem: The PhD project will explore the position(s) of “Big Tech” in the Danish online ecology, mapping how technology companies such as Alphabet, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft provide infrastructures and tools for communication and exchanges on micro, meso, and macro levels. Denmark is one of the most digitized countries in the world, but knowledge about the underlying global cast of characters remains sparse. What role do they play in the structuring of the Danish online ecosystem? The aim of the project is to generate empirical knowledge about 1) the extent to which the technology companies constitute essential backbones for the online ecosystem in Denmark, 2) the extent to which Danish (public and private) actors depend upon the technology of “Big Tech”, 3) the structural and sociological implications of strategic collaborations with the technology companies, and/or 4) the potential and realized privacy implications of the position(s) of the technology companies. The PhD project connects to current discussions about datafication, public digitalization, platform economy, and privacy.

Solving the Privacy Paradox: This PhD project explores possible solutions to the “privacy paradox” (Barnes, 2006). Over the last couple of years, and following the introduction of GDPR as well as the numerous examples of leaks and abuses of digital user data, the attention given to questions of privacy and the integrity of “data subjects” has increased. However, in spite of increased awareness, most users turn a blind eye to the vast capture and sharing of digital user data, enabling it through their everyday digital behavior. Against this background, the aim of the project is to 1) gauge users’ attitudes toward the sharing and capture of digital user data, 2) identify users’ practices for accepting/blocking the sharing digital user data, and/or 3) if possible: develop and propose frameworks or concrete solutions for improving users’ own control over what digital user data they share and how. The project can focus on specific demographics or groups of users. The PhD project is about user empowerment in the digital age and about supporting the agency of the users. Furthermore, the project connects to current scholarly discussions about privacy and personal data, datatification, and platform economy.

Deadline for applying is March 10. Please read the call carefully before applying.