Wolfie Christl

Internet, Technology & Society

Digital Culture, Community Media
Big Data, Digital Tracking, Surveillance, Privacy
Open Source, Open Knowledge, Creative Commons
Digital Literacy, Education, Serious Games

Wolfie Christl is a technologist, researcher, writer, educator, and digital rights activist based in Vienna, Austria. Communication engineer by profession, he studied (but did not complete degrees in) computer science, sociology, arts and media studies. He has been interested in digital culture, open source, community media, and the socio-cultural impact of information technology since the late 1990's. Until 2006 he was a part of Public Netbase, a digital art platform, non-profit ISP, and somewhat of an early hackerspace in Vienna. His most recent work is focused on surveillance, privacy, and the personal data ecosystem in today's digital age.

In 2017, he published Corporate Surveillance in Everyday Life, a comprehensive report on “how companies collect, combine, analyze, trade, and use personal data on billions”, and How Companies Use Personal Data Against People, a working paper on “automated disadvantage, personalized persuasion, and the societal ramifications of the commercial use of personal information”. His 2016 book Networks of Control is, according to the “International Association of Privacy Professionals”, a “slow-burning horror film”, and, according to Paul Nemitz, Director Fundamental Rights at the Directorate-General Justice of the European Commission, “a must-read for anyone who is interested in today's data-driven world”.

He has contributed to donottrack, an interactive web documentary series about digital tracking (The Atlantic, Forbes, Guardian), works as a trainer for employee privacy, and writes for newspapers such as the German FAZ. In 2013, he co-created Data Dealer, an award-winning online game on personal data and surveillance, which aims to raise awareness about privacy in a new and fun way. Data Dealer has received outstanding media coverage and substantial feedback from young people, teachers, media educators and the general public all over the world. It won numerous prizes like the e-virtouses Serious Games Award 2013 (France) and the Games for Change Award 2013 (USA).

Christl and his projects have been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, and many other media outlets around the world. He has presented his research in the European Parliament and has held many talks, lectures, and workshops at various conferences all over Europe and in the US, including at universities, Austrian and German Federal Ministries, TEDxVienna, re:publica (Berlin) and the Chaos Communication Congress (Hamburg).

Selected Publications, Interviews, Video

#data4sale (2016)

Talk at a conference by the Norwegian Consumer Council in Oslo

YouTube preview
TEDxVienna (2012)

How to gamify personal data (business)

YouTube preview
Report (2017)

Corporate Surveillance in Everyday Life. How Companies Collect, Combine, Analyze, Trade, and Use Personal Data on Billions.
» Web Publication
» Research Report

Book (2016)

Networks of Control. A Report on Corporate Surveillance, Digital Tracking, Big Data & Privacy. Together with Sarah Spiekermann.
» Networks of Control

PORTRAIT »

Inventures (CEE)

INTERVIEWS »

ThinkProgress (US)
Games for Change / Gamasutra (US)
Markets for Good (US)

CITED IN »

New York Times (US)
Forbes (US)
New Yorker (US)
Fast Company (US)
Saudi Gazette (Saudi Arabia)

Talks, Presentations, Panels

29.09.2018
Stanford (US)

Workshop at Stanford University

Workshop on "Technology, Digital Commerce, and the Self" with Peter Galison and others, supported by Carnegie, at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford

21.09.2018
Berlin (DE)

netzpolitik.org Conference

Talk "Digitale Profile über Milliarden: Überwachungskapitalismus 2018 und wie weiter" at the "Das ist Netzpolitik" conference at Volksbühne Berlin
» netzpolitik.org | Abstract | Video

24.11.2017
Vienna (AT)

Technopolitics working group

Lecture "Living in Surveillance Capitalism"
» technopolitics.info

24.01.2017
Brussels (BE)

Privacy Camp 2017

Talk and panel "Instant Big Data Targeting: Programmatic Ad Tech & Beyond" at the civil society conference held the day before the start of the CPDP
» privacycamp.eu | Video

29.12.2016
Hamburg (DE)

CCC Congress #33c3

Talk "Corporate Surveillance, Digital Tracking, Big Data & Privacy" at the Chaos Communications Congress 2016
» fahrplan.events.ccc.de | Abstract | Video

14.11.2016
Oslo (NO)

Norwegian Consumer Council #data4sale

Talk at the conference on the "consequences of the commercial use of consumer data" by the Norwegian Consumer Council
» forbrukerradet.no Video

30.09.2016
Vienna (AT)

Privacy and Sustainable Computing Lab

Keynote and book presentation "Networks of Control" at the opening event of the Privacy and Sustainable Computing Lab at Vienna University of Economics and Business
» privacylab.at

03.10.2015
Vienna (AT)

FROG 2015 "inter/play”

Talk & Panel at the Games Conference of BuPP & Austrian Federal Ministry of Family and Youth
» frogvienna.at

17.09.2015
Vienna (AT)

Internet Governance Forum Austria

Workshop "Digital rights in the context of corporate surveillance" at the IGF Austria, hosted by Bundeskanzleramt, ISPA & nic.at
» igf-austria.at

01.07.2015
Brussels (BE)

Panel on Privacy & Consumer Rights

Panel Discussion with Renate Nikolay (Head of Cabinet of EU Commissioner Věra Jourová), Josef Weidenholzer (MEP and Chairman of the Intergroup Digital Agenda in the EU Parliament, Daniela Zimmer (Vienna Chamber of Labour)
» akeuropa.eu

22.-24.6.2015
Prague (CZ)

DisConference 2015

Keynote at “DisCo 2015: From analog education to digital education”
» disconference.eu

19.06.2015
Hamburg (DE)

DIVSI Convention 2015

Workshop at Your Net – DIVSI Convention 2015
» divsi.de/yournet

21.05.2015
Warsaw (PL)

Media meets Literacy

Talk at the Media and Information Literacy Conference organized by Evens Foundation, Belgium
» mediameetsliteracy.eu

08.05.2015
Leipzig (DE)

University of Leipzig

Talk+discussion, organized by AK Gesellschaftskritik
» Announcement

07.05.2015
Berlin (DE)

Kongress der Möglichkeiten

Talk at #hate10 in Kunstraum Kreuzberg / Bethanien
» hate10.com

07.05.2015
Berlin (DE)

re:publica 2015

Talk about my research at #rp15, one of the largest conferences about digital culture: Thursday May 7, 10am
» Corporate Surveillance in the Age of Digital Tracking, Big Data & IoT

16.04.2015
Graz (AT)

ICT@University Conference

Talk at the University of Graz
» ict.uni-graz.at/de/programm

27.03.2015
Vienna (AT)

SUBOTRON academy

Panel discussion "Subversive Games"
» subotron.com

24.02.2015
Vienna (AT)

Privacy Day 2015

Talk at the conference of the Austrian Society for Privacy and Data Protection ARGE Daten
» argedaten.at

20.02.2015
Vienna (AT)

brut wien theatre

Panel discussion about surveillance and social sorting, related to the performance Anonymous P.
» brut-wien.at

11.02.2015
Wien (AT)

W23

Talk "Durchleuchtet, analysiert und einsortiert?" at W23/que[e]r
» que[e]r

02+03.02.2015
Berlin (DE)

Cyber Security Challenge Conf

Keynote at the conference of the IT Security Association Germany, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy & more.
» cybersecuritychallenge.de/konferenz

20.01.2015
Brussels (BE)

European Parliament

Presentation of my research about Digital Tracking & Corporate Surveillance in the European Parliament, at the invitation of MEP's » Joe Weidenholzer and » Michel Reimon » Invitation

28.11.2014
Utrecht (NL)

SIDN Meeting

Talk at the conference of the .nl domain registry
» sidn.nl

04.11.2014
Fürstenfeld (AT)

ICT Security Conference 2014

Talk at the conference of “Cyber Security Austria” and “Abwehramt” - one of two Austrian defense intelligence agencies.
» seminar.bundesheer.at

25.09.2014
Eibelstadt (DE)

main.IT 2014

Keynote at the conference about IT + media by iWelt AG, focused on “Data & Security”
» iwelt.de

13.09.2014
Vienna (AT)

Paraflows Symposion

Talk at the conference “Intimacy / Plug-in - Exploit - Care”, part of Paraflows, Festival für Digital Art & Cultures
» paraflows.at | » Abstract

11.09.2014
Offenbach (DE)

Webinale Visions

Talk “Digital Technocracy via Surveillance & Big Data?” at the conference about “Datability”
» http://webinale.de | » Programmm & Abstracts

04.06.2014
Bozen (Italy)

EURAC science cafè

Big data panel at the European Academy Bozen.
» sciencecafe.eurac.edu

04.06.2014
Vienna (AT)

IMAGINE14 Conference

Talk at the conference about “Future Information and Communication Technology” by OCG and the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology
» imagine-ikt.at

06.05.2014
Berlin (DE)

re:publica 2014

Talk at Europe's biggest Internet conference
» re-publica.de | » Abstract

09.01.2014
Vienna (AT)

Conference “Civil Rights, Networks, Economy & Politics”

Talk “Recruitainment und Quantified Work: The future of digital surveillance at work” and panel with Herta Däubler-Gmelin (former German Minister of Justice), Joe Weidenholzer (Member of EU Parliament), Walter Peissl (Austrian Academy of Science), Gerhard Kunnert (Austrian Federal Chancellery)
» arbeiterkammer.at

21.11.2013
Vienna (AT)

Faceless Conference - Vienna Art Week

Presentation/Lecture in the context of the “Faceless II Exhibition”, Quartier 21 / Museumsquartier.
» viennaartweek.at | » facelessexhibition.net

14.10.2013
Vienna (AT)

ICIC 2013 Conference

Talk “Personal Data in the Digital Age. Big Brother on Steroids?” at the “International Conference for the Information Community”.
» icic.eu | » Abstract

09.11.2013
Vienna (AT)

How to Create a Critical Public

Panel with Regula Stämpfli (CH), Sonja Ablinger (Member of Austrian Parliament), Felix Stalder (Prof. Digital Culture, ZHDK Zürich)
» Alternative Media Academy

09.11.2013
Zürich (CH)

rePlayce:thecity Conference

[canceled due to illness] Panel ”Surveillance and Control”, Lecture “From Panopticon to Retargeting: Surveillance and Gamification in the Age of Big Data”
» Program | » Book of Abstracts

26.09.2013
Vienna (AT)

Austrian Media Days

Big Data Panel with Rudi Klausnitzer, Friedrich Stickler, Anneliese Rohrer
» medientage.at | » Abstract

24.06.2013
Prague (AT)

DisCo 2013 Conference

Keynote “Digital Literacy Education on par with Contemporary Digital Culture” at the Conference on “New Technologies and Media Literacy Education”.
» disconference.eu | » Abstract

19.06.2013
NYC (US)

Games for Change Conference

Talk “A Fun Game about Personal Data and Digital Privacy” at the Games for Change Festival 2013, ”Catalyzing Social Impact Through Digital Games”.
» gamesforchange.org/festival2013

03.06.2013
Vienna (AT)

R.I.P. Privacy? Tech Natives Debate

Panel with Max Schrems (Europe vs. Facebook), Anne Roth (Tactical Technology Collective), Tom Spiegel (iProspect Austria).

24.05.2013
Offenbach (DE)

Bended Realities Festival

Playing for Real, lecture/presentation at the “Festival for Playful Digital Culture”.
» Programme

03.11.2012
Vienna (AT)

TEDxVienna 2012

Talk “How to gamify personal data (business)” at TEDxVienna conference.
» tedxvienna.at | » ted.com | » Video of the talk

08.09.2012
Wien (AT)

DNP12 Daten.Netz.Politik

Talk at the conference about privacy, net politics and free networks
» dnp12.unwatched.org | » Abstract | » Youtube

2004
Vienna (AT)

Internet & Gobalization

Panel discussion

2003
Sofia (BG)

net user II Conference

Talk “Sustainable Web Technologies for Non Profit Organizations”, Interspace Media Art Center.
» netuser.cc (archive.org)

2003
Weimar (DE)

D.A.S.H. Meeting

Talk “Collaboration Web” at the meeting on “Open Source and Open Publishing for Grassroots Activism”
» eu.d-a-s-h.org

2000
Wien (AT)

Free Speech Camp

Panel “Public Campaigning & Independent Media” at the Radio FRO conference - part of Ars Electronic Festival
» fro.at/freespeechcamp

WORKSHOPS & GUEST LECTURES »

Guest Lecture

24.06.2014. Institute for Theatre, Film and Media Studies (University of Vienna). “Big Data: Media Culture in Transition”
» Rámon Reichert

Workshop

19.+20.5.2014: Workshop about privacy and chances & risks of social media
» gpa-djp.at

Guest Lecture

16.09.2013. Degree Program for Game Engineering (University of Applied Sciences Technikum, Vienna)
» technikum-wien.at

Renoise Audio.

2004. Workshop Using sample tracking software for music production
» workshop.t0.or.at

Mozilla Mail

2003. Workshop. Understanding Mozilla mail & email basics.
» workshop.t0.or.at

Wiki Workshop

2003. Workshop. Using Wikis for collaborative knowledge management.
» workshop.t0.or.at

Advanced Internet User

2003. Talk about the history, technology & structure of the Internet.
» workshop.t0.or.at

Introducing Zope

2002. Several workshops. Creating dynamic websites based on the open source web app server Zope.
» workshop.t0.or.at

phpWebsite

2002. Workshop. Creating dynamic websites based on the open source CMS phpWebsite.
» workshop.t0.or.at

Web Publishing

2001. Talk about web publishing in the fields of art, culture & alternative media.
» workshop.t0.or.at