Recently, Google announced that it is buying Fitbit, the fitness tracker company which, not long ago, was the leader of the fitness wearable devices market. This acquisition gives Google a foothold in the large, growing and lucrative smartwatches / fitness band arena, which was lacking from their product portfolio. Most importantly, for Google, it gives … Continue reading What’s the problem with personalisation, anyway?
I have recently received a number of e-mail inquiries from people asking whether I would be available to supervise their PhD studies. The answer is that I could take on one, maybe two new students. However, if we are going to work together for 3-4 years, we need to have research interests in common. Most … Continue reading PhD research topics that I am supervising
I was chatting with a friend about the challenges of keeping the destination of her holidays secret from a certain acquaintance, because of a comment somebody else had written on her Facebook page. This exchange reminded me of an experiment of sorts, from a few years ago. Professor Vertesi, who was pregnant at the time, … Continue reading Hide and seek in the age of social media
This month (November 5th to be exact) marked the 10th anniversary of my PhD viva. I did my PhD at LSE with Dr James Backhouse, and investigated the profiling of undesirable customers (or customer screening). I looked at how organisations define who is a desirable customer, and who isn’t one; and the process that they … Continue reading My PhD, 10 years on
Historian Melvin Kranzberg once wrote that: “Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral”. That is, technology (digital techology, for instance) does more than allowing users to do something; the design of that techonological product actually encourages some behaviours, while discouraging (or, at least, downplaying) others. For instance, the addition of cameras to … Continue reading On social engineering in social media platforms (or, how we are not in control)
Our online activities leave traces, just like our physical activities leave footprints. These traces – or digital footprints – together create a digital representation of ourselves, which others can see. For instance, our work colleagues can check our various social media profiles; future employers or business partners can type our names in a search engine; … Continue reading What do others see, when they look at what you share online?
Last week, the news broke that Admiral car insurance planned to launch a new product aimed at new drivers, firstcarquote, whereby policy holders could get rebates on their annual premium, based on their social media activity. The Guardian reported that: Admiral Insurance will analyse the Facebook accounts of first-time car owners to look for … Continue reading From Facebook likes and Internet of Things, to insurance premiums