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Trading one’s privacy for the convenience of an online service has become an all too commonplace commercial driver in an economy modeled around the collection, analysis, and commercialization of users’ digital traces.

deepSKY is an interaction design experiment investigating the concern of individuals trading access to their personal data in exchange for free digital services. This design experiment explores the processes driving this, and presents ways we can reveal to users how these digital traces are algorithmically employed for commercial profit; thus raising questions in users’ minds about the inherent biases of economies built upon their personal data.

While our experiment takes the form of a critical design inquiry, creating a contemporary designed object – or in this case digital service – meant to provoke contemplation about this ‘privacy for convenience’ model. This process touches on Dourish’s concept of embodied interaction as a tool for understanding the enmeshed relationships driving this socio-digital phenomenon, and finds that algorithms can be easily created to automatically drive digital services, but are error-prone and vulnerable to biased human assumptions stemming from commercial incentive, and thus the practice is in need of questioning.


Algorithmic design decisions: Assumptions Fuel Bias
Tracing how our actions are embodied into the digital traces we leave on commercial servers every day.
Thermal printer
Finished horoscope

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