<body> Public Ad Campaign: GOOGLE’S SIDEWALK LABS PLANS TO PACKAGE AND SELL LOCATION DATA ON MILLIONS OF CELLPHONES
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Monday, January 28, 2019

GOOGLE’S SIDEWALK LABS PLANS TO PACKAGE AND SELL LOCATION DATA ON MILLIONS OF CELLPHONES

As an anti-advertising activist I am becoming more and more aware that the quaint methods once employed by the attention industry are becoming obsolete. In NYC the phonebooth infrastructure, once a ubiquitous form of street furniture across the five boroughs, is rapidly being replaced by digital WiFi stations. While these digital structures do have screens on either side that show advertisements intermittently between more benign content like PSA's, "public art" and fun facts about the city we live in, they are a trojan horse. If the objective of advertising is to influence your behavior, the old method of putting a picture in front of you is costly, cumbersome and largely ineffective when weighed against the capabilities made available through the tracking of our bodily motions and online behaviors. Surveillance capitalism is quickly replacing the old forms of influence with new far more insidious methods unknown and unseen to most of us. As I grapple what that means for my practice as an artist I will continue to report on new ideas and methods being developed to influence our behavior that fall outside of the typical advertising in public space dilemma.

VIA: The Intercept
MOST OF THE data collected by urban planners is messy, complex, and difficult to represent. It looks nothing like the smooth graphs and clean charts of city life in urban simulator games like “SimCity.” A new initiative from Sidewalk Labs, the city-building subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has set out to change that. More [HERE]

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