My Experience as a Software Engineering Intern in Google Search; Consequences of the Data Broker Industry and Possible Regulations

Liu, Jerry, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
Wayland, Kent, EN-Engineering and Society PV-International Studies PV-Institutional Research and Analytics, University of Virginia
Morrison, Briana, EN-Comp Science Dept, University of Virginia

Most websites and Internet-based companies rely on a free business model where users can access free services, like search engines and social media, in exchange for their personal data. Using this consumer data, big tech companies like Google and Facebook profit from efficient targeted advertising. In addition to the big tech giants, there are more than 4,000 data broker companies gathering and selling user data in the shadows. Consumers are concerned by this data collection due to the invasion of privacy, potential abuse of data, and possible data breaches. Hence, a problem to consider is to what extent organizations should collect, store, and monetize user data on the Internet.
For the technical report of this thesis portfolio, I discuss my Google internship projects, including the techniques and tools used, skills gained, and outcomes. In my STS research paper, I delve deep into the world of data brokers, investigating how they operate, their consequences on consumers, how they avert government regulations, and their current regulations.

BS (Bachelor of Science)

School of Engineering and Applied Science
Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Technical Advisor: Briana Morrison
STS Advisors: Kent Wayland

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