Quantified Self and identity

Researcher Sophie Uesson says: “I’m neither a psychologist, nor a health expert but I find two aspects of health tracking which may affect our sense of identity. There is the social sharing aspect, where you constantly share your success with friends and others in your social networks, thus showing of your own ‘healthy identity’ and comparing it with your network. The other aspect is the contest against yourself and the feeling of a never ending improvement of your own identity. An example of this may be an improved result in time or length during your weekly run – there could always be improvement in your result and you could always change your identity in that way. … Without sounding too dystopian; is there such thing as a true self or is the ‘true self’ a reflection of how governments and corporations want us to be?”

Wearable tech as commercial failure

Madeleine Monson-Rosen writes: “Given the hype around wearable technology like Google Glass, you might be surprised to learn that the wristwatch is still the most successful example of modern wearable tech. Over the past century, wearables have mostly been commercial failures.”

Real-time video face editing – Modiface’s Beauty Mirror

Modiface launches the Magic Mirror app. “Through live simulation the app updates face location and pose every 0.03 seconds as up to 14 customisable effects are applied to the face while the user looks into the camera.
Some of the effects include eye enlargement, facelift, skin clearing, acne reduction and weight loss.
Users are able to take a picture of themselves at any point or record their transformation as a video”.

Privacy and personalization

Rachel Serpa describes an interesting Catch-22 situation: “According to a recent consumer survey, data privacy concern is at an all-time high, with 92% of US internet users worrying about their online privacy (TRUSTe). At the same time, 73% of US consumers prefer to buy from brands that use their information to deliver more relevant shopping experiences (Accenture).”
The solutions according to Serpa:
- First party permission
- Progressive profiling
- Consumer identity management

Link found by @photolifeofq

US profiling as a terrorist

In a recently published official US document profiles anyone who “endorses or espouses terrorist activity or persuades others to endorse or espouse terrorist activity or support a terrorist organization” as a terrorist. It specifies what terrorist activities are:
- “involves violent acts or acts dangerous to human life, property or infrastructure which may be a violation of U.S. law, or may have been if those acts were committed in the United States”
- “appear to be intended” (1) “to intimidate or coerce a civilian population”; (2) “to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion”; (3) “to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, kidnapping or hostage-taking”
- “This includes activities that facilitate or support TERRORISM and/or TERRORIST ACTIVITIES such as providing a safe house, transportation, comunications, funds, transfer of funds or other material benefit, false documentation or identification, weapons …, explosives, or training for the commission of an act of TERRORISM AND/OR terrorist activity”.

Opt-out from online behavioral advertising

Here you can opt-out from online behavioral advertising. “This website was jointly developed by a group of leading industry associations to serve as the home of a Consumer Opt Out Page that allows you to manage your preferences for online behavioral advertising for companies participating in the Cross-Industry Program.”

Anti-tracking – Privacy Badger

EFF writes: “The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released a beta version of Privacy Badger, a browser extension for Firefox and Chrome that detects and blocks online advertising and other embedded content that tracks you without your permission. … Today’s beta release includes a feature that automatically limits the tracking function of social media widgets, like the Facebook “Like” button, replacing them with a stand-in version that allows you to “like” something but prevents the social media tool from tracking your reading habits. … EFF created Privacy Badger to fight intrusive and objectionable practices in the online advertising industry. Merely visiting a website with certain kinds of embedded images, scripts, or advertising can open the door to a third-party tracker, which can then collect a record of the page you are visiting and merge that with a database of what you did beforehand and afterward. If Privacy Badger spots a tracker following you without your permission, it will either block all content from that tracker or screen out the tracking cookies.”
Download it here

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