Wolfie Christl


Major research projects, reports and articles


"Surveillance and Digital Control at Work"

A research project on the datafication of work led by Cracked Labs, together with AlgorithmWatch, Jeremias-Adams Prassl, UNI Europa and GPA, and supported by the Austrian Arbeiterkammer. It examines and maps how companies use personal data on (and against) employees, with a focus on Europe.


"Europe's hidden security crisis" / "America's hidden security crisis"

Two reports about how data from digital advertising and real-time bidding (RTB) flows to foreign states and non-state actors. Together with Johnny Ryan, led and published by the Irish Council for Civil Liberties (ICCL).


"Digital Profiling in the Online Gambling Industry"

Report on digital profiling in the online gambling industry that examines how a UK gambling firm collects, shares and exploits personal data on players. Authored by Wolfie Christl. Commissioned by the UK gambling advocacy organization Clean Up Gambling, together with the data rights agency AWO.


"Digitale Überwachung und Kontrolle am Arbeitsplatz"

German-language report and web publication that examines how companies collect, use and exploit personal data on employees. Authored by Wolfie Christl, published by Cracked Labs, funded by Arbeiterkammer.


"Out of Control"

Major contribution to an investigation into how smartphone apps share personal data with third parties. A project led by the Norwegian Consumer Council, together with NOYB and others.


"Microtargeting. Persönliche Daten als politische Währung"

German-language article on the use of personal data for political campaigns in the APUZ journal of the German Federal Agency for Civic Education (BPB).


"Corporate Surveillance in Everyday Life"

Report and web publication that examines how companies collect, trade and exploit personal information on consumers. Authored by Wolfie Christl, published by Cracked Labs, funded by Open Society Foundations (OSF).


"How Companies Use Data Against People"

Working paper on "automated disadvantage, personalized persuasion, and the societal ramifications of the commercial use of personal information". Authored by Wolfie Christl, published by Cracked Labs, funded by Open Society Foundations (OSF).


"Networks of Control"

Report and book on "corporate surveillance, digital tracking, big data and privacy". Authored by Wolfie Christl and Sarah Spiekermann, published by Facultas, Vienna.

  • Info website | Full PDF report (165 pages) | Buy the book
  • Result of a collaboration between Cracked Labs and the Institute for Management Information Systems at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, chaired by Prof. Sarah Spiekermann.
  • "a must-read for anyone who is interested in today's data-driven world" (Paul Nemitz, Director Fundamental Rights, DG Justice, European Commission)
  • "having such a collection of examples in one place is really exciting" (Anna Fielder, chair of Privacy International)
  • "an extensive but approachable crash course in big data and collection measures" (Courtney Gabrielson, IAPP)

"Kommerzielle digitale Überwachung im Alltag"

German-language report and web publication on consumer surveillance. Authored by Wolfie Christl, published by Cracked Labs, funded by Arbeiterkammer.

Other publications

Some more stuff I wrote or contributed to:


"Australians for Sale: Targeted Advertising, Data Brokering and Consumer Manipulation"

Contributed research to a report about the commercial misuse and trade of personal information, targeted advertising and consumer manipulation, calling for a comprehensive legal reform in Australia. A report by Reset.Australia, written by Susie Alegre.


Submission to the Irish Data Protection Commission

Contributed research to a submission to the Irish data protection authority by Johnny Ryan of the Irish Council for Civil Liberties.


"Europe must not rush Google-Fitbit deal"

Opinion piece on Google's Fitbit acquisition together with leading EU competition and privacy experts Francesca Bria, Cristina Caffarra, Gregory Crawford, Tomaso Duso, Johnny Ryan, Tommaso Valletti.


"Big Data im Wahlkampf - An ihren Daten sollt ihr sie erkennen"

Article on the use of personal data for political campaigns in the German FAZ.


"Verstecken kann sich niemand mehr" / "Comment Facebook vous suit (même hors ligne)"

Article on Facebook's data practices, consumer data brokers and tracking across devices and platforms, published by German FAZ, the German public broadcaster BR and French Rue89.

2001 – 2006

Writings for "Progress"

100+ articles on tech and society, open source, open content, privacy, surveillance, social media and pop culture for Progress, the magazine of the Austrian National Union of Students.




Contributed to an interactive web documentary series about digital tracking by National Film Board Canada, French ARTE and German public broadcaster Bayerischer Rundfunk (BR).

2011 – 2014

"Data Dealer" game

Co-created and managed the development of Data Dealer, an award-winning educational/serious game on data, surveillance and privacy.

  • datadealer.com | Video trailer on YT
  • "An online game that explores the personal data ecosystem" (NY Times)
  • "A game that plays with private information" (The New Yorker)
  • "Lets you 'play god' with personal data" (Mashable)
  • "kick-ass" (Jane Mcgonigal), "allegedly-satirical" (Bruce Sterling)
  • Won several awards including Games for Change Award 2013 („Most Significant Impact“), e-virtuoses Award 2013 („Communication & Awareness“), Evens Prize for Media Education 2015 ("runner-up").