As part of the Big Bang Data exhibition at the Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB), and in collaboration with ZZZINC, Eticas Research & Consulting has developed a public information newspaper on privacy and data protection. The Big Bang Data exhibition offers a close examination of the phenomenon of ‘big data’ (processing large quantities of complex information in an acceptable period of time), the consequences of the widespread use of data-registering devices, or the birth of the so-called ‘quantified self’. Drawing from its expertise in surveillance studies and its research on privacy issues, Eticas has produced an Electronic Self-Defence Handbook in order to use its research insights, and those of the Big Bang Data exhibition, to help the general public use new technologies more safely.
The Electronic Self-Defence Handbook explains the complexity and extent of global data flows, using plain language and relating these flows to everyday situations. For instance, electronic surveillance is introduced through facts on the processing of the personal information it gathers (such as the creation of data doubles) and how this processing puts our privacy at risk. At the end of the newspaper’s introduction, there is a graphic of the everyday scenes where overt and covert surveillance takes place: at home, at the workplace, in shopping areas, on urban transport, or in the street.
Having demonstrated the extent of what some have called the ‘surveillance society’, the newspaper reviews initiatives by citizens and entrepreneurs raising awareness about surveillance and resisting privacy-invasive measures. The newspaper presents cases of self-defence arising in different areas such as art, research and activism, and it describes several objects designed to resist privacy-threatening attacks. These self-defence methods also include routine practices and acts of ‘sabotage’ available for daily situations, as well as encryption and anonymity tools for users of new technologies.
Finally, this Electronic Self-Defence Handbook proposes a series of ideas highlighting the importance of protecting privacy in a long battle to defend this ‘right to be left alone’.
The newspaper is available in Spanish, Catalan and English. Big Bang Data is open from 9th May to 16th November at the CCCB in Barcelona, and will be presented in Madrid in 2015 just before starting an international tour.
- “What We Know They Know. The Outlines of the Mass Surveillance State”
- “When the Product is You”
- “Everyday Scenes of a City under Surveillance”
- “Electronic Self-Defence: The Greatest Hits”
- “Self-Defence 1.0: Sabotage”
- “Guide to Self-Defence Tools”
- “Things They’ve Sayd: Quotes from the News on Life in the Surveillance Wars”
- “Big Bang Data” Exhibition