What are the attitudes of online media users to the vast collection of personal data held by commercial platform companies? Do previous experiences of state surveillance have an impact on these attitudes? Do they differ for those brought up in the surveillance regime of Estonia during the Soviet Union era, or who experienced the surveillance apparatus in Portugal under authoritarian dictatorship? Do Swedish media users without authoritarian surveillance experiences differ in their attitudes to commercial surveillance?
These questions are discussed in this final report from the project Social Media Surveillance and Authoritarianism (Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, 2020–2023), a three-country comparative study (Estonia, Portugal, Sweden). The project aimed to analyse the role of past experiences of state surveillance on attitudes to dataveillance, that is, the commercial surveillance stemming from online media that is at the heart of data capitalism.
The report accounts for the aims, objectives, theoretical and methodological points of departure and and presents empirical examples of the results.