A new form of “influence government”, which uses sensitive personal data to craft campaigns aimed at altering behaviour has been “supercharged” by the rise of big tech firms, researchers have warned.

National and local governments have turned to targeted advertisements on search engines and social media platforms to try to “nudge” the behaviour of the country at large, the academics found.

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The shift to this new brand of governance stems from a marriage between the introduction of nudge theory in policymaking and an online advertising infrastructure that provides unforeseen opportunities to

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