UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS (UDHR)
(1) Everyone has the right to access information that is transparent and true to facts; this right includes freedom to access the Internet and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through the web regardless of frontiers.
(2) All individuals are entitled to the privacy of their own information, which shall not be subjected to undue interference and collection by any individual, organization, or government; this right includes the data generated by their activity on the Internet.
Presented at The New Museum, this event was intended to show how much information marketers can get through scanning your phone, amongst other platforms. The goal was to educate people on this issue – that it happens everyday and everywhere without a person's knowledge.
Upon entry, all participants signed a disclaimer that indicated that no information collected would be released. The viewer's phone was then unknowingly scanned and guests proceeded to the information hall, which was made up of white walls and projector screens. The screens displayed information that was extracted from the guest's mobile device. The further the guests walked into the information hall, the more personal the information that was being displayed would become.
At the end of the information hall, guests would encounter a curtain that dramatically dropped to expose what was labeled as the "reveal dome." Touching upon the idea of information transparency, the reveal dome was made out of glass and projected the words "YOU ARE BEING WATCHED."
Upon exiting the dome, the exhibit then split into three separate rooms that simulated the effects of what would happen to the information extracted from a person during different situations, including Corporate, Political, and Social. During this time, visitors also had an opportunity to speak to experts on the subject of extraction and security of information. The final stage of the exhibit left participants in a "safe zone," which was an area where everyone was reassured their information was safe and that the exhibit's hard drive was empty.
IMAgine in online outreach
This simulation applied field research with lab surveys and scenario simulation. The goal was to educate and raise awareness through empathy.
Function I: Imposed
Website blockers were imposed without user awareness. Frequently visited sites, like Facebook, YouTube, Google, Twitter, etc. were all blocked or took an exceptionally long time to load. This caused frustration for users, which was observed by the team collecting the research at a distance from test subjects. Once frustration was induced, team members approached users and attempted to educate them on the "impossible" access to information faced in other countries. A petition was offered to those who wished to sign.
Function II: Voluntary
A pop-up survey appeared when a browser opened that read "Would you like to surf the internet as if you were in XXX country?" A select list of countries were presented, each offering the user unique insights into how information is censored in the corresponding country of choice. Participants were allowed to surf for as long as they wanted, then ultimately asked if they would like to continue surfing as if they were back in the United States. Users were then asked to sign a petition at the end of the experience.
With the hopes of educating and raising awareness with shock factor, an app was created that informs users about the invasion of privacy and provided exposure of existing imprisoned activists in information-censored countries.
Part I: Information Graph
A user would choose a category (Location Service, Online, etc.), then input details on how often and which/what they use. The app then presented a graphic representation of how much your private information would be public knowledge based on the input settings. A tab was offered to show how and where marketers used this private information for commerce purposes.
Part II: Global Web Surfing
A game guided users to a situation in which they would be in depending on their information-censored offense. Options included jail, house arrest, abuse, and threats to his/her family amongst other potential circumstances. At the end of the experience, information was provided about activists that had been in similar situations and what happened to these people. A petition was offered for users to sign that was intended to help the activists.