Recipes for Cookies: How Institutions Shape Communication Technologies
New Media & Society, Vol. 11, No. 3 pp. 315-336, 2009
23 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2004 Last revised: 14 Feb 2011
Date Written: July 15, 2004
The ability of communication technologies to favor certain societal concerns, such as privacy, is widely recognized. This article argues an institutional analysis is central to understanding how a technology affects a societal concern. This is demonstrated with a case study of the cookies technology, which has been shaped in differing ways by universities, firms, and consortia. A comparative institutional analysis finds that each of these institutions acted according to their own norms and processes in influencing the recipe for cookies. It is these institutional tendencies that shaped the cookies technology. By understanding these tendencies, policymakers can better assess, predict, and proactively influence the development of communication technologies to improve societal welfare.
Keywords: Institutions, Communication Technologies, Law & Policy, Privacy, Cookies
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