The Data project is a passion project which I started with this publication, which looked at data and how it affects our lives as well as looking at the relationship between data, democracy and fake news. There is a clear link between big data harvesting companies such as Cambridge Analytica and fake news which I hoped to explore and explain. This project has so far been the largest project I have developed conceptually, resulting in several different outcomes to deliver a clear message on how our own personal data can be used against us.
During this project I had to gather a lot of primary research to justify what I was doing. I decided to conduct interviews to gather information from a range of different people from different walks of life to see what their expereinces of personal data and data harvesting have been like.
Misuse Of Consumer Data
After looking through news articles, social media and people’s experiences of data misuse I discovered that the company, Revolute, which is a financial technology company, undertook a disastrous advertising campaign where it mocked some of it’s users for being single on valentines day by pointing at the fact that single takeaways had been purchased through them on the day. Despite the fact it was shaming its own customers, the implications of displaying users supposed purchases and the number of takeaways purchased shows how careless some companies like this are with handeling their users data. In response I decided to collaberate and art direct some mock adverts with some other designers to raise awareness and accountability with companies and their users data.
Data And Democracy
Data and democracy was the central theme at the heart of this project, showing how data can be used to subvert democracy by manipulating vulnerable people on social media through tactics such as unregulated, targeted political advertising which contain lies and deception from unkown sources. Tactics like this were notoriously used in the 2016 Brexit referendum, particularly in the Leave campaign. In response to the advertising theme I decided to produce a set of info posters which put forward important questions and statements in regard to data and democracy, as well as some more abstract posters which tackle the issue of addiction to social media and technology, which served as vectors for the Leave campaign to spread and manipulate vulnerable people.
The full set of posters.