SNS3 – Social Networking Sites in the Surveillance Society
funded by the Austrian Science Fund РFWF (project no.:  P22445-G17)

The objective of this research project is to study electronic surveillance on social networking sites that are used by Austrian students.

The systematic collection of data by state and private institutions has resulted in a situation that has been characterized by some as the emergence of a surveillance society. Surveillance is related to the topics of privacy and security and the problem of how to obtain these goals. The implications of surveillance and surveillance technologies for society and human lives ¬†under the conditions of “web 2.0″ have been hardly studied so far.

In this project, we pay specific attention to the connection of (economic) surveillance and Internet/web 2.0 technologies that store, process, and transmit vast amounts of personal data, used for gaining profits. We conduct theoretical and empirical research in order to contribute to foundations of an empirically grounded critical theory of Internet surveillance.

The project is innovative and is highly likely to break new academic grounds by combining critical media/communication studies, surveillance studies, Internet research/social networking sites research, and information society studies in a transdisciplinary research approach.