Today we are not just data consumers. As we go about our online activities, an extremely detailed and personal profile is produced. This data no longer belongs to us and is being used to fuel a major new economy. Big corporations buy and sell details about our characteristics and behaviour, commodifying our privacy to be able to sell products back to us. This systematic gathering of data about our personal lives is one of the factors that has enabled the existence of mass surveillance states, such as those revealed by Edward Snowden.
In this chapter, artists and experts in the fields of data security and privacy analyse the ways in which our data is being used, to raise awareness of the potential dangers of a Big Data era.