WIK Research Brief "Auditability and control of algorithmic decisions and systems"

Companies such as Alphabet/Google, Meta, Amazon and Apple generally collect a large amount of data that is used to display personalized content and advertising to consumers with the help of algorithms. This fact alone is not something that every consumer is aware of. Previous studies show that there is basically little awareness of the existence of algorithms. Even fewer consumers understand how they work. They can rarely assess what data is collected about them and how it is processed. Adjusting the privacy settings of services is one of the ways consumers can exercise control over this data.

Building on the existing literature, the aim of this study is to investigate the competence of especially young people in Germany, who are generally not only the biggest consumers of digital technologies and media, but have also grown up with them, in relation to algorithms. To this end, semi-structured interviews were conducted with consumers aged 19 to 27 who belong to the generation of "true digital natives".




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