Corporate Surveillance

Other projects: multiscreening | synced advertising

Project description | Key publications | Grants

Project description

With the increase of data collected by companies, we observe the rising popularity of personalized marketing communication. Developments in data science and technology have created opportunities for organizations not only to use data collected online for personalization, but to move offline (Yun et al., 2020). An example of this is synced advertising, which involves personalizing messages based on people’s concurrent online and offline media behavior in real time (Segijn, 2019). For example, media users receive a mobile message targeted based on the TV content they are watching simultaneously. While synced advertising promises to enhance communication efforts for practitioners  (Segijn & Voorveld, 2020; Segijn, Voorveld, & Vakeel, 2021), the way personal data is collected for it raises ethical concerns for the media user and subsequently, to unintended consequences, such as chilling effects.
            Chilling effects refer to the self-surveillance practices of media users as a result of external surveillance. An example is people who refrain from using certain websites or watching certain shows because their data is collected and they feel surveilled (Finn & Wadhwa, 2014). Surveillance can be defined as the collection and use of personal data with the aim of control or influence (Lyon, 2002). While surveillance often refers to the state’s monitoring of citizens (Penney, 2017), such monitoring also occurs on a wide scale in the corporate context, as data is seen to provide a competitive advantage, and it has become easy and cheap for corporations to collect information about people (Büchi et al., 2020). Together with Dr. Joanna Strycharz, I study chilling effects as a result of corporate surveillance in everyday life.

Key publications

Strycharz, J., Kim, E., & Segijn, C. M. (Accepted). Why people would (not) change their media use in response to perceived corporate surveillance. Telematics & Informatics.


Awards & Grants

Click here for a list of all honors & awards


  • Top Paper Award, Special Topics ‘Digital advertising, artificial intelligence, and technological innovations’ (August, 2022). Ad division, Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

This project is sponsored by:

  • UMN Seed Grant, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota
  • European Advertising Academy Research Grant (2020), European Advertising Academy
  • AEJMC Emerging Scholar Research Grant (2021), Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication