This project is the fourth part of a five-part series, each containing prototypes for my thesis at Parsons.
The series is called 5-in-5, which means that I do 5 projects in 5 days (one each day).
The constraint is that I have to conceptualize, prototype, and document in the same day.
This is the fourth day of my 5-in-5 project. Today, I have done research on understanding the data leaks that have happened in the past (the famous and not so famous ones), the user stories associated with those leaks, and what companies did at the time to mitigate such risks.
Through the project, I aim to get a perspective on the horrific nature of hacking and how users may feel about their loss of privacy.
I also learned a unique insight into the privacy breach in an immersive experience environment and have documented my experience in this post.
Today's project was primarily research driven. While I found stories from users showing their concerns about privacy (after they were hacked) and those from hackers who showed the ways in which they conducted hacking, I could not establish the specificity of identity breach.
Sure, user data was stolen multiple times in history and the companies took measures to prevent it, but for the most part, the data was collected in bulk, and the stories of individuals getting directly impacted by the hack were minimal.
I also had an interesting observation about the use of immersive technology in the real world. I went to an exhibit called Arcadia Earth at NYC, and I found that the primary medium of interaction was through a smartphone camera. What was interesting about that experience was that every visitor was on their phone/ tablet, looking around the screen and freely taking pictures/videos. Since I had been researching on privacy, I started doing test recordings - capturing other people who were exploring the exhibit. I had obviously not asked for their permission, but I realized that they weren't taking notice of what I was seeing, perhaps due to an established general trust. I believe that is what allows us to do private chats and calls in crowded spaces like subways.
That made me think of the potential of data breach for augmented and virtual reality experiences. While you may not realize what others are seeing, you can me marked as a source of data collection.
Going forward with development in immersive technologies, the designers should ensure that the experience they were creating takes care of the environment in which those experiences take place.
Note: The clips uploaded here are the ones I took from the Arcadia Earth mobile app, not from my smartphone camera. To value privacy, I am not sharing the clips of people that I took in the exhibit today. And also because I took a lot of them and now feel guilty of doing so just for the sake of an experiment.
There were two main parts to this project:
1. Conceptualize: Extending on the understanding of privacy from yesterday, I researched on the past data leaks and hacks, and the impact they have had on users and their lives.
2. Experimentation: I also did an experiment of breaching user privacy in an exhibit in New York City, while trying to understand the vulnerabilities that exist in these technologies.
. The Power of Privacy, a documentary film by The Guardian, https://youtu.be/KGX-c5BJNFk .
. The Great Hack, a documentary film on Netflix featuring David Carroll, https://www.netflix.com/title/80117542 .
. A WSJ hacking experiment and its findings, https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-i-learned-from-the-hacker-who-spied-on-me-11549559728 .
. A story of a hacker and their process, https://youtu.be/6Vb9gxrjmm0 .
. A hacker breaking down scenes from Hollywood films, Wired, https://www.wired.com/video/watch/hacker-breaks-down-hacking-scenes-from-movies-tv .
. A guide to Data Breaches, Wired, https://www.wired.com/story/wired-guide-to-data-breaches/ .
. User stories about being hacked, Business.com, https://www.business.com/articles/security-breach-4-disturbing-stories-about-getting-hacked/ .