“Researchers have studied multiple mechanisms to increase users’ security and privacy awareness… It seems none is super effective… Some researchers are now advocating more 'creepy' ways to trigger users’ security/privacy awareness levels. I can imagine how the audience’s creepy emotion could be trigged by such an art installation, which may increase [their] general security/privacy awareness... In general, I think you’ve got a novel approach to a hard problem... ”
Dr. Jeremy Epstein, program manager at NSF, National Science Foundation and DARPA, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
“I will be quite interested in running such an installation at VISA to make our staff aware of their responsibility to protect the company and its infrastructure.”
Vaibhav Garg Director, Information Security at VISA
"I am beyond enthusiastic about the potential for this as a seedling that moves beyond surveys to provide different modes on understanding and controlling privacy in ambient modes, by small changes in behavior.”
Dr. L. Jean Camp, Professor at the School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University
“This sounds like an interesting project and something that I and/or my students may be able to help with.”
Dr. Lorrie Faith Cranor, Serving as FTC Chief Technologist in 2016, Professor, Computer Science and Engineering & Public Policy Co-director, Privacy Engineering Masters Program Director, CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University
DIGITAL INTIMACY is interesting and timely given that it is an artistic expression and demonstration of important but rarely (or viscerally) understood issues of sharing, security and privacy in the digital age. Raising awareness of these things in a proactive, artistic way benefits society generally.”
Dr. Richard Forno, Director, UMBC Graduate Cybersecurity Program
Who Sees Your Data?
In the presence of a multi-billion dollar data broker industry aiming to psychologically, medically, and politically profile everyone in the world, I am creating the DIGITAL INTIMACY installation to provide a glimpse of what we give up in exchange for 'likes' and 'thumbs up’ while trillions of gigabytes of personal data are exchanged secretly, and without our consent. DIGITAL INTIMACY affords a visceral awareness of otherwise invisible and intangible daily assaults on personal boundaries in the digital age.
Visitors entering the DIGITAL INTIMACY exhibition space designed as a familiar room in a home reminiscent of the past look up at old family film projections and photographs on the walls to discover their personal data such as contact lists, photos, full names, passwords and more filling their shadows and following their movements throughout the space.* Sensors embedded in the installation gather information from visitors’ cell phones, iPads, fitness trackers, and wallet card RFID chips while sweeping the audience with WiFi, Bluetooth, and other technologies present in most public spaces such as Starbucks and local public libraries. Hidden servers continuously run Bluejacking, Bluebugging, Bluesnarfing and other ‘skimming’ processes while WiFi access point systems gather additional information. Social engineering exports and facial recognition is engage, thus revealing to the installation visitor the invisible and intangible daily assaults on personal boundaries in the digital age. The Digital Intimacy installation provides a glimpse, a visceral awareness, of what we give up in exchange for ‘likes’ and ‘thumbs up’ while many trillions of data are exchanged secretly, without our consent, and with virtually no oversight.
Andrew Cole, composer, designs algorithms linking harvested data to 1950 oldies tunes, resulting in data-driven, processed oldies compositions. These nostalgic samples of oldie radio stations move between multiple speakers, twisting slowly to unrecognizability in response to visitors’ data. The surreal landscapes resonate and contrast with home comforts.
DIGITAL INTIMACY, originally designed in 2016, is ever more significant now, post-Roe v Wade. Sensitive data can be subpoenaed by court order or acquired from data brokers, putting women in particular at risk.
Cindy Konits 2022
Fundraising in Hiatus*