If it costs nothing, you are the product – how does that change us and how can we change that?

Did you just get excited about a great new app that costs nothing? Have you thought about how the app’s developers earn their money? The more digitalization and social media advances, the clearer it becomes: If it costs nothing, you are the product. The digital world at our fingertips offers us many opportunities, but it also carries risks that should not be underestimated.
We live in a system that some call surveillance capitalism. Algorithms not only track our behavior, but they also potentially shape our next steps. How this world where we control everything through our cell phones changes us is open to debate: Do we really have “nothing to hide”? Are we being manipulated?

In this project, your group will explore these questions by examining what surveillance capitalism is, what consequences it might have on our behavior, and what alternatives might exist.

– Is there a great danger from surveillance capitalism?
– Are we informed enough about it? If not, how can we better educate people?
– What other types of economies are there that are better for our personal development and for democracy?
– How can we use technology or technologies to enable more freedom and autonomy?

Scientific Partner

Supporting Researcher

Maximilian Müller

Maximilian Müller is associate professor of accounting at ESMT Berlin. In his research, he examines the impact of transparency in the economic system. This includes, for example, how companies best communicate with investors, but also regulation, where politicians demand more transparency from companies (e.g. with regard to finance, taxes, and sustainability).
kommunizieren aber auch um Regulierung, bei der die Politik von Unternehmen mehr Transparenz einfordert (etwa bzgl. Finanzen, Steuern und Nachhaltigkeit).