Data Privacy and Art with Brett Gaylor and Hang Do Thi Duc

data privacy art

Fourteenth episode of TECHnique podcast focuses on Data Privacy

Create Hub’s December episode of its TECHnique podcast is about Data Privacy, featuring interviews with Documentarian Brett Gaylor and Media-Maker Hằng Do Thi Duc.


The December episode of Create Hub’s monthly TECHnique podcast is now out. In this month’s edition Samuel Fry goes to MozFest, the world’s leading festival for the open Internet movement, where he speaks to Documentary-Maker Brett Gaylor and Media-Maker Hằng Do Thi Duc about how they use art to explore the issues surrounding Data Privacy.

TECHnique is a podcast which includes conversations with artists about how they are using technology. The previous episodes of TECHnique have covered artistic topics, including: Interactive PlaysArt PracticeGamingSmall BusinessTwitterBotsDeath of PaintingFuture of LoveSound DesignDementiaBroadcastingDigital StorytellingMagic and Blockchain.

The new episode, called ‘Data Privacy and Art’, starts with a discussion with Brett Gaylor about his process when creating RiP!: A Remix Manifesto (a documentary about copyright laws) and the 2015 web documentary Do Not Track (which explores the challenges surrounding internet privacy). Fry then goes on to speak to Hằng Do Thi Duc about her project called “Data Selfie” which is a Chrome browser extension which shows how Facebook can track how you click, type, scroll and dwell on their website.


Brett Gaylor on creating documentaries about data privacy

Brett Gaylor spends some of his time as a documentary filmmaker and the rest of his time as the Commissioning Editor for Advocacy Media at Mozilla. He introduces himself in the episode by saying that, ‘I have been making films about the internet for around a decade.’ For 6 years, Brett worked on creating a documentary called RiP!: A Remix Manifesto, which responded to the culture of remixing music and other creative content.

A few years later, Brett made an interactive documentary called Do Not Track all about data privacy and surveillance on the internet. ‘It was an example of how a film could be different on the internet. They could use your data in a way that a movie couldn’t.’ He continues to explain that, ‘If you used Do Not Track then I might know where you are connecting from, what browser you are using, what you watched, the cookies that your browser is connected to and I could make a unique film for you.’


Hằng Do Thi Duc on coding and data tracking

Hằng describes herself as a Media-Maker. She says in the episode that, ‘I have always been interested in the connection between media and society – or more specifically the influence that media has on society.’ This is prevalent in her work which looks at the relationship between the media and its understanding of people’s personal data.

While in New York, she began to get interested in making and coding. ‘I really fell in love with making things’ and ‘I am very fascinated by data and what it can reveal when you design it in a certain way.’ As a result Hằng decided to create a Chrome Extension called Data Selfie to show how Facebook could track personal data. Hằng goes on to say that, ‘I was interested in what my data on Facebook can tell about me’ and that ‘Data Selfie is really a data visualisation of what Facebook might predict about your consumption, but of course I cannot claim that this is Facebook’s algorithm and it is what they use specifically.’


Data Privacy and Art Podcast

The episode is called ‘Episode 14 – Data Privacy and Art’ and it is available on iTunesSoundCloud and most podcasting apps. The podcast is the December 2017 episode of the monthly podcast.

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