Post 4: We Are Data

 

Video 1: (Ubisoft WATCHDOGS | We Are Data | Digital, Digi Case 2014)

Watchdog is a video game, developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. The designer of the game Danny Bélanger created this game with the main purpose to create awareness of the increasing data that we are losing control of day by day.

This game is an open world, action-adventure, third-person shooter video game. In the game, the city of Chicago is run by (CTOS) Central Operating System, which manages all sorts of data including traffic, crime, power distribution and many others. The player Aiden Pearce, who is a high skill hacker, is able to control data system in city of Chicago through his smart phone and hack every control in the city.

WatchDog video game is designed to create a public awareness of the growth of data and the power of data it holds. We still think data is our future but we are already living in the future. Data is not a fantasy anymore and that was main purpose of designing this game in order to increase public awareness.

Our life is surrounded by data such as social media, security camera, opal card, smartphones, online storage etc. Despite the availability, we do not have any control of the data and we are not aware of where all the data stored. We leave our digital tracks everywhere. Creating and designing this game exposes us to the dangers of data security and how should we control our private data.

In the future we will lose control of our data even more and we need to be concerned now otherwise anyone can and will hack our personal data. If we are not careful now, we will be lost in the future.

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Figure 1: (Watch Dogs 2, PS4, Flickr 2016)

Watch Dog 2 was published in 2015, which aimed to create another awareness of using social media. Modern day reality is that we are controlled by the social media and we are not aware of how much information we are giving to the world. In this episode Marcus, who is another brilliant hacker collects the data of individuals that follow him on social media. He gets more information and more powerful as more people follow him.


 

Figure 2: (The Man Who Agreed- Apple Terms and Conditions, Jessica Mullen 2015)

As the nature of a human being, the terms and conditions related to privacy when becoming associated with large multinationals such as Apple, Samsung, Facebook, etc, are never fully read. We are never aware that every time we agree to them, it could be propose anything – it is very hard to read which makes it difficult to engage people. From personal experience, I’ve found this to be the case as well. It is a high threat to us because we can sign for anything to them or government.

The designer Jessica Mullen designed a digital printed booklet for Apples iCloud ‘EULA (End User License Agreement)’ for people who doesn’t read any terms and condition. She made a visual and clever approach to engage and encourage people to understand them. Her main aim was to influence people to read the terms and conditions, especially the ‘EULA’ text, where she created a story out of out text and a character to create an amusing theme. I think it is a very smart visual approach for people – both easy and fun to read.


 

Figure 3: (The NSA Of Fonts Censors You In Real-Time,  John Brownlee 2015)

Emil Kazole designed a computer font ‘Seen’ which will acknowledge people of whether they are under government surveillance by ligatures, a creative invention. Ligatures main function is to make words more readable and enhance their beauty. It also had significant success with recreating the idiosyncratic handwriting of Sigmund Freud or make a data visualization in a word processor.

So the ligatures for typeface ‘Seen’ automatically censor words in the NSA list which is called a ‘Spooke word’. Most of these words are not words normally associated with the secret service, words like ‘Guantanamo’,’CIA’, ‘Illuminati’, rather they are more like ‘basement’, ‘birthday’, ‘blackjack’ and ‘blowfish’. These words were part of NSA Prism database, as leaked by Edward Snowden in 2013.

The main purpose for creating this font is increase awareness for the general public that NSA and other government agencies follow our activities and constantly check our email, messages, and anytime we share information. So we should be careful, even when we’re joking, of the words we use as someday someone may come to our door.

by Ayesha Mira


References:

Edney, A. 2014, ‘Designing Watch Dogs-An interview with Danny Belanger’, HuffPost Tech, weblog, viewed 20 August 2016, <http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/andrew,-edney/post_7415_b_5199348.html>.

Clements, R. 2016, ‘Watch Dogs 2: When social media is your superpower’, Play Station.Blog, weblog, viewed 20 August 2016, <http://blog.us.playstation.com/2016/08/19/watch-dogs-2-when-social-media-is-your-superpower/>.

Mullen, J. 2015, A DIVISION OF UNDERCONSIDERATION, viewed 20 August 2016, < http://www.underconsideration.com/fpo/archives/2015/01/the-man-who-agreed—apple-terms-and-conditions.php>.

Brownlee, J. 2015, Fastcodesign, viewed 20 August 2016, < https://www.fastcodesign.com/3048286/the-nsa-of-fonts-censors-you-in-real-time>.

Image & Video:

Video 1: Case, D. 2014, Vimeo, viewed 20 August 2016, <https://vimeo.com/83248924>.

Figure 1: Watch Dogs 2, PS4 2016, Watch Dogs 2, Flickr, viewed 20 August 2016, <https://www.flickr.com/photos/playstationblog/28408367724/>.

Figure 2: Mullen, J. 2015, The Man Who Agreed- Apple Terms and Conditions, A DIVISION OF UNDERCONSIDERATION, viewed 20 August 2016, <http://www.underconsideration.com/fpo/archives/2015/01/the-man-who-agreed—apple-terms-and-conditions.php>.

Figure 3: Brownlee, J. 2015, The NSA Of Fonts Censors You In Real-Time, Fastcodesign, viewed 20 August 2016, < https://www.fastcodesign.com/3048286/the-nsa-of-fonts-censors-you-in-real-time>.

 

 

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