This Artist Wants You to Buy All His Personal Data on eBay

ebay

Oli Frost got inspired by companies earning profit from his data and decided to sell it directly to anybody who wants it. He’s downloaded all his data from Facebook (and you can too) and put it up on eBay for anyone to buy. Proceeds from the sale of his Facebook data will go to the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Frost also created some other really neat online projects like lifefaker, a tool for Instagram, and Flopstarter, a platform for terrible ideas.

What’s Included

Every like, post, and inane comment since I was 16.
Photos dating back to when I had a fringe and listened to Billy Talent.
Videos dating back to when my band played gigs at kids play centres.
A list of things I’m apparently interested in, including ‘Gluten-free diet’, ‘Jessie Ware’ and ‘Project management software’.
Stats on how many happy birthdays I got, year by year.
All my friend requests that got ignored.
Every party invite I’ve ever had (all three of them).
Loads more, like who I vote for, my boss’s name, and where all my family live.

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Iceland Wants to Help Journalists Expose Real Threats

Iceland continues on it’s quest to be the ‘Switzerland of data‘ and is extending its program to do so for journalists. Part of the country’s plan to become a haven for people exposing the immoral and questionable behaviour of powerful people is already in action. Iceland is quickly achieving its goal of not only protecting data but also protecting people who analyze and process that data.

The motivation for Iceland to lead this charge comes out of a first-hand knowledge of how devastating a lack of transparency can be. Iceland’s financial crash of 2008 was catastrophic to the country, and few had answers until Wikileaks began publishing documents the local reporters were legally blocked from airing. The general public, justifiably feeling robbed, saw Wikileaks as the purveyor of important knowledge that they were being denied.

While there is much to do, IMMI has not been without successes. In 2013, IMMI helped pass the Information Act, which helped broaden the public’s access to information as well as source protection, thus nudging some of IMMI’s core goals forward. A few days after our meeting, IMMI joined with other organizations to repeal Iceland’s 75-year-old blasphemy law, making blasphemy no longer an illegal act in the country.

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Will Iceland be the “Switzerland of Data”?

Iceland is the de facto home of Wikileaks and is also a country concerned with privacy issues. The country is now considering leveraging their experience and reputation of being digital-data friendly to the next level. Presently, the country is considering branding itself as the “Switzerland of Data.”

If Iceland does move ahead with this, it means that the country will become one of the most important players in the 21st century similar to how Switzerland was with banks in the 20th.

The International Modern Media Institute (IMMI), a non-profit organisation, has played an instrumental role in designing and promoting the legal framework for Iceland’s new data privacy laws.

Following the country’s 2010 financial crisis, mass protests broke out against the nepotism, corruption and lack of transparency exposed by the collapse. A group of Icelandic activists began working on an initiative to create the world’s strongest media and free speech protection laws, as well as a state-of-the-art privacy law.

Birgitta Jónsdóttir is IMMI’s spokeswoman and now represents the Pirate Party in the Icelandic parliament. She met Al Jazeera at her office in Reykjavik and explained that one of IMMI’s goals is “to allow people working on human rights or investigative journalists, as well as people who want to host data on a massive scale, to be free from worrying about privacy issues”.

She added: “Iceland should become for information what Switzerland is for money.”

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LHC Data Freely Accessible from CERN

The Large Hadron Collider run by CERN is making huge insights into the fundamental workings of the universe. Already it has found evidence the Higgs-Boson and other groovy particles in physics.

Now CERN is setting all that data that’s been collected free to use! Now you can use research generated by one of the most complex machines humanity has ever created.

“Data from the LHC program are among the most precious assets of the LHC experiments, that today we start sharing openly with the world,” says CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. “We hope these open data will support and inspire the global research community, including students and citizen scientists.”
The LHC collaborations will continue to release collision data over the coming years.
The first high-level and analyzable collision data openly released come from the CMS experiment and were originally collected in 2010 during the first LHC run. Open source software to read and analyze the data is also available, together with the corresponding documentation. The CMS collaboration is committed to releasing its data three years after collection, after they have been thoroughly studied by the collaboration.

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Surfing Oceanic Data

The ocean is massive and it’s experiencing massive change thanks to climate change and humans depleting its resources. We know this, but we don’t know the extent of the harm done to the oceans nor many other aspects of life in the seas.

A surfer and engineer, Benjamin Thompson, decided to do tackle these problems. He invented a special fin for surfboards that can collect data about the planet’s waters while one enjoys some fun recreation

In a world that grows more “Big Data”-obsessed by the day, the amount of information we have on the world’s oceans remains curiously small. In fact, according to the National Ocean Service, less than 5 percent of the world’s oceans have been explored. There’s good reason for that. “You put anything in the ocean, and it gets pounded to death, critters grow on them, the temperature changes, and ions corode the metal,” says Paul Bunje, senior director of oceans at the XPRIZE Foundation. “Stick something in the ocean, and it wants to get destroyed very quickly.”

It’s particularly tough to collect information near the shore, where waves are crashing. An innovation like Smart Phin could change that. “Surfers are going in the water everyday. They’re in the most critical, hostile zone, and they’re doing it willingly, and they’re doing it for free,” Thompson says. “We’re chopping of a whole section of the cost of research, and that could be a real paradigm shift in the way data is collected.”

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