July 23, 2014Published by: Fereshta Amir

Tracking Transience: a project tracking ALL the things

Gotta love Ted Talks for continuing to ask questions worth asking, in this instance: how much are you prepared to reveal online? We first came across Hasan Elahi's Tracking Transience project on the Ted stage, where he explained how the self-surveillance project has for over a decade allowed the FBI — and the public — to monitor him.

After a misleading tip linked this artist to terrorist activities - and an FBI investigation, he created a project that lets anyone monitor him. Full disclosure is given online; we can see where Hasan is, what he's doing, his phone records, banking records and flight data. As if this is not enough, there are also time-stamped photos of beds Hasan has slept in, toilets visited and food eaten - full disclosure in the true sense of the words.

We’re still in a transition between analog and digital, and for as long as we’re in this state of flux, we’ll develop a more sophisticated understanding of the consequences of living under constant surveillance. For now, at least, we still have control over what information we put forth publicly. Being mindful of how we do that feels like a good first step toward retaining control. - Hasan Elahi

This talk raises interesting questions and is well worth watching. Check it out below.

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