Mapping the Unfindable: Notes and References

Here is where I’ll keep track of my readings, quotes and notes for the project.

This will be an ongoing post…

 


 

11/01/2017

Half the world’s population is still offline. Here’s why that matters

This looming and unequal wealth explosion is important because it will exacerbate the current fault lines of global inequality. Internet use is overwhelmingly concentrated in advanced economies, and the biggest gaps are in the world’s poorest areas.

The map and chart below shows hot spots of internet connectivity in most developed countries and huge opportunities to increase access to the internet in developing countries.

 

Identity in a Digital World

Yet we are still learning what “identity in a digital world” means. We are also still evolving policies and practices on how best to collect, process or use identity-related data in ways that empower individuals without infringing on their freedoms or causing them harm. There is significant room to improve how identity data is handled online, and how much control individuals have in the process.

chapter 1

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Nothing is as fundamental to human beings as identity. Our identity is, literally, who we are: a combination of personal history, innate and learnt beliefs and behaviors, and a bundle of cultural, family, national, team, gender or other identities. However we understand it, identity always matters. Our identity is important because it exists in relation to others. It exists in relation to the economic and social structures in which we live. How we are represented in economic, political and other societal systems – and our degree of choice and control as to how we are represented in these systems – sets the parameters for the opportunities and rights available to us in our daily lives.

(…)

Whether we want it or not, our identity is increasingly digital, distributed and a decider of what products, services and information we access. This identity online is not simply a matter of a website login or online avatar – it is the sum total of the growing and evolving mass of information about us, our profiles and the history of our activities online. It relates to inferences made about us, based on this mass of information, which become new data points.

(…)

Today, the average internet user has 92 online accounts, and is likely to have over 200 by 2020

>>>>>> HOW MANY LOGINS I HAVE?

The result for individuals is a decreasing understanding of or control over how they are represented online. With that digital representation determining so much of how we live our lives, these changes add up to a rewriting of the social contract, and we are barely even aware of it. Any discussion on shaping digital identities should start and end with the individual – one who is born into a fully digital world – and what these identities mean for that person’s future.

General Links for Inspiration 🙂

https://anatomyof.ai/

https://labs.rs/en/

 

Invisible Infrastructures: Understanding Autonomous Systems

One of the reasons we seldom discuss the issues of this invisible infrastructure is the fact that the speed of the packets traveling through the network is so big and unnoticeable to us, in most cases we don’t feel a significant difference in whether our packets are traveling  just around the corner or to around the world and back.

There is three basic network structures:
Centralized. All the devices are connected to one center. This center has privileged accessibility and thus represents the dominant element of the network.
Decentralized. Although the center is still the point of highest accessibility, the network is structured so that sub-centers also have significant levels of accessibility.
Distributed. No center has a level of accessibility that significantly differs to the others.

 

Browsing Histories

It took us just a few minutes of looking into the dataset to associate the real name of the person behind this browsing history. Just by sorting his Facebook traffic, i.e., the profile pages he visits, we were able to identify the real person. Since Facebook is enforcing a “real name policy” this is a  neat way to link someone’s browsing history with their real name. For a more structured approach, there are numerous academic papers6and models on how to uniquely identify users according to their browsing patterns and behaviors. Exploring Facebook URLs reveals much more than someone’s identity. Based on the structure of the URL we were able to reconstruct a part of this person’s social graph.

We are creatures of habits, and we tend to create repetitions and patterns in our everyday behaviour. We tend to go to bed and wake up at similar times, to create our morning routines and create rituals of our social interactions. Since many segments of our lives are mediated by technology, those patterns are replicated and visible through the different digital footprints. When patterns are recognised, anomaly detection is born. As stated by Pasquinelli8, the two epistemic poles of pattern and anomaly are the two sides of the same coin of algorithmic governance. An unexpected anomaly can be detected only against the ground of a pattern regularity.