SNS3 – Social Networking Sites in the Surveillance Society

Social networking sites (SNS) are Internet-based platforms that allow users to construct profiles, establish displayed connections with other users, and that support various forms of online communication. Examples are studiVZ, MySpace, or Facebook. The overall aim of this research project is to study electronic surveillance on social networking sites that are used by Austrian students.

SNS3 is linked to the EU COST Action IS0807 “Living in Surveillance Societies” (2009-2013). The Living in Surveillance Societies (LiSS) COST Action is an European research programme designed to increase and deepen knowledge about living and working in the surveillance age, in order to better understand the consequences and impacts of enhanced surveillance, and subsequently to make recommendations about its future governance and practice. The underlying theme of the programme is that technologically mediated surveillance – the systematic and purposeful attention to the lives of individuals or groups utilising new ICTs – is a ubiquitous feature of modern society, with citizens routinely monitored by a range of sophisticated technologies. Yet, despite these developments relatively little is known about the depth of personal surveillance or how our personal information is used.

LiSS is a collaborative venture that networks over 100 expert participants from more than 20 European countries. It is chaired by William Webster.