A Data Artist’s Guide to Putting People (and Privacy) First, Lydia Pyne, δημοσίευση στο Artnet News [6/5/2021]
Data is not new. For tens of thousands of years, humankind has created such records by gathering observations, measurements, and information about themselves and the world around them. In recent centuries, data has most often been used to generate laws and explanations for physical phenomena.
As data science has emerged as its own discipline, those scientific methods are now often directed toward predictive modeling of human behavior. The power of such predictions allows individuals, corporations, and governments to try to alter how people, especially as consumers, will behave. Mark Zuckerberg’s much-mocked explanation of Facebook in a 2018 joint Senate hearing — “Senator, we run ads” — might be more honestly rephrased as, “Senator, we sell you.” Today, data is often treated as just another resource to exploit.
In Living In Data: A Citizen’s Guide to a Better Information Future, data artist Jer Thorp shows that we desperately need to rebalance the power relationship between people and their data, and alter how the latter is used. More than just an activist’s call to protect data privacy, Thorp’s work — and his plethora of fascinating case studies — demonstrates how to put people and their well-being at the center of what data “ought” to do by finding, showing, and telling the different stories in data from different perspectives. This approach enables a better relationship between people and their data because it allows them to participate in the process of creating and telling its stories.
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