_A Charge For Privacy
[interactive installation]  

// client_A Charge for Privacy
// launched_2011
// project type_Interactive Installation
// work included_hardware fabrication, software development, video //
// awards_Gold Addy 2012, 3 Gold Creativity International Awards 2012

It’s so easy to send a tweet or upload a new photo to Facebook, not to mention free of charge, that we often don’t consider what the hidden costs of this exchange might be.” - the Creators Project

Charge but beware [...] reminds everyone nothing is ‘free’, especially not online…”-  Creativity-Online

…there was one particular installation that has lingered in our memories for its relevance to one of the most equally contested and ignored topics in the digital conversation: privacy.” – PSFK

The piece is a reminder that nothing online is really “free.” We often forget (or might not even realize) that the online services we depend on for our most intimate and private exchanges (Facebook, Gmail, etc) are not exactly “free” nor are they exactly “private.” Every word you email to your family and every link you share with your friends is being archived, indexed and monetized, either in the form of targeted ads and/or other data-mining ventures. Sometimes these institutions encroach a bit too much on our most private data and when those that notice make a stink about it they get accused of being miscreants or at best get an, “Ooops, we’re sorry we invaded your privacy like that.” Like it or not, this is the normative economic exchange for services online today, privacy is the currency of our digital ecology.

A Charge For Privacy attempts to recreate this relationship by offering a utility, essentially an iPhone charging station, at the cost of privacy. Basel goers are welcome to charge their cell phones at the station, but not without agreeing to the Terms of Use (written all along the sides of the station). When an iPhone is plugged in the station proceeds to download all the photos stored on the phone. These terms make clear the exchange, ” […] You (b) grant Branger_Briz an irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, fully paid, worldwide license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, publish, stream, store, retain, publicly perform or display, transmit, scan, reformat, modify, edit, frame, translate, excerpt, adapt, create derivative works and distribute (through multiple tiers), any and all of the images retrieved.” The second the photos are downloaded, the station immediately projects them as a public digital-graffiti installation.

Thnx: Sushi Samba, Joanna Cisowska, Paloma M Vazquez, Macias Advertising, Miami Independent Thinkers and Alain “Haitian Hillbilly” Maximilien.source code/files + downloads available here

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