Data Doubles and Digital Traces

Kaitlin Costello (Library and Information Science)

Everyone has a data double, or a profile created by aggregating the data we produce every day. From selfies we take and share on Instagram, to likes on Facebook, to surveillance, to our Fitbits, we all have a digital trail. Some of this data is data we intentionally create about ourselves, while some of it is created by others. What do your data double and digital trail say about you? How is this data collected, by what means is it aggregated, and for how long is it stored? And what do companies and other people do with this data? In this class, we will examine and think critically about our data doubles from the perspectives of personal and social informatics. We will begin by learning about the presentation of self in everyday life, a classic sociological theory. We will explore the “Dear Data” project, a data-driven endeavor between two artists that is now part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Modern Art. We will also discuss the personal and social implications of data doubles from a variety of perspectives. Finally, we will learn how we can gain some control over our own data doubles.

Course Number: 
01:090:101 section 11 index 05795