big data | June 12, 2014

Jer Thorp: We Need a New Bill of Rights for Data Privacy [VIDEO]

According to data artist and big data speaker Jer Thorp, we’re getting a raw deal when it comes to our raw data. With increasing ease, we give up our personal information to sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest without knowing what’s going to happen with it.

“Right now it’s like a 12-page user agreement that nobody reads. That user agreement in no way tells you what they’re going to do with your data, they just tell you they’re going to use it—which is kind of weird,” says Thorp during a chat at Lavin’s Toronto offices (video embedded above).

Thorp suggests society should be working towards adopting a data-privacy bill of rights for all users. He stresses that people need to have informed consent, know what their data is actually being used for, and be able to have a copy of what’s being collected from them. As it stands, we don’t even know what’s going on.

As the co-founder of The Office for Creative Research, which looks into new ways of engaging with data along scientific and artistic avenues, Thorp also discussed the various levels of privacy breaches we collectively face. They range from being watched by advertisers on a daily basis during our time online, to broader NSA-type collection, and finally gathering data on people of interest in ways that still only exist in the realm of speculation.

Here, Thorp lays out the three stages of information privacy he believes we should adopt:

In eye-opening talks, Thorp adds meaning to the vast heaps of data that flow around us daily and shares beautiful and moving data visualization projects that offer human context to faceless facts. To book Jer Thorp as a speaker for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency.