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Small data on a large scale: Torn between convenience and surveillance
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Umeå Institute of Design.
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Technology has become an inherent part of our daily lives. If we don’t want to abstain from the benefits technology brings, we have to acknowledge the fact that tech generates data and adjust our norms and habits to it. This thesis critiques how corporations and governmental institutions collect, store and analyze data of individuals. It discusses the economic and technological forces that stand behind the collection and usage of data in the past, today, and the near future. Beyond that, it alludes to political implications. The overarching goal is to stimulate reflection about culture and future. To achieve that, the design of an interactive educational web story within the browser is proposed. A curated personal data platform in combination with interactive web stories make data collection, data usage, and the risks of data aggregation visible.

Business practices and interests are rendered transparent on the basis of users’ actual online behavior and exposure. The web stories allows to understand the meaning and value of the data traces users leave online. In five chapters, they experience the basic technologies of the Internet, business motivations, and surveillance practices in the context of their individual web browsing behavior. Each chapter invites to explore details of the topic to accommodate for individual need and interest in the matter. A critical reflection on the future of data collection is encouraged, tools and settings within the browser help users to protect their digital identities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
technology, store, data collection, digital identities
National Category
Engineering and Technology Other Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-110630OAI: diva2:864032
Subject / course
Degree Project, Interaction Design
Educational program
Master's programme in Interaction Design
Available from: 2015-10-23 Created: 2015-10-23 Last updated: 2015-10-23Bibliographically approved

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Umeå Institute of Design
Engineering and TechnologyOther Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering

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