The project started by bringing together interdisciplinary experts to map the landscape of digital privacy today. This led to a framework of considerations for digital exchange. This framework guided the design of an interactive pop-up installation—The [terms & conditions of] Exchange.
The Exchange was hosted at multiple events including the Toronto Public Library’s Privacy Fair, Folkemødet (The People's Political Festival), and TODO 2018. The [terms & conditions of] Exchange was selected by an independent jury to be one of ten Festival Features at Toronto Design Offsite Festival in 2018.
The project launched with a discussion between diverse professionals who deal with issues of privacy from different perspectives, including law, design, academia, backend security, and Open Government.
Synthesizing the outcomes of this conversation, I documented the topics and examples identified by each panelist, and summarized the outcomes through a framework which attempts to map the factors that contribute to digital exchange.
How much information or exchange an individual is willing to contribute through online engagement with a digital platform.
The parameters, as defined by a governing body, of what is considered to be permissible engagement within digital platforms.
Where Consent and Regulation overlap defines the space in which entities engage and exchange digitally.
The exchange within this boundary determines value which is not only economic, but also social or systemic. This can be negative, positive, or both depending on context.
Over time, mapping the potential changes of boundary and value can help inform action in the present and the creation of scenarios for the future.
To test the framework, we designed The [terms & conditions of] Exchange—a pop-up kiosk hosting a series of tangible activities correlated to each of the framework’s components.
Activity: Play 5 truths & a lie with a "fortune teller"
Data: name, phone number, birthday, relationship status, etc. (information commonly used to sign up for digital services)
Activity: Listen to an audio recording of a real T&C for as long as possible
Data: name, email, birthday, signature
Activity: Exchange your info for tokens to play the game of skill (and a chance to shred your data)
Activity: Play a classic game of luck: Plinko! If you win we’ll shred your data (all participant information submitted was actually shredded)
Activity: All participants can keep the small plastic token they used to play Plinko as thank you for participating.
To be easily transported and quickly installed (and produced on a minimal budget) the kiosk is built off of a modified drywall scaffolding frame. Many interactive components are analog (paper slips, cards, and hand shredder) in order to maintain the tangible experience of the kiosk.
At each pop-up event, we found that although each activity took between 2-14 minutes participants often stayed afterward to continue in conversation. These discussions were often about their own experiences with digital privacy or to talk through the details of The Exchange.