Surveillance selfie with cell phone metadata

Posted to Self-surveillance  |  Tags: , ,  |  Nathan Yau

How much can you find out from “just the metadata” about your cell phone? ABC News in Australia aims to find out.

Australia’s new data retention laws mean phone and internet companies have to save this information for two years: that’s every time you call someone, where you call them from, which cell tower your phone pings every time it connects to the internet, and more.

On a mission to find out what that data might reveal, ABC reporter Will Ockenden took a ‘surveillance selfie’: he got access to his own metadata, and now for the first time you can see what an individual Australian’s metadata actually looks like.

They’ve started with a few summary interactives that show where Ockenden goes during the week through cell tower connections and who he communicates with through call logs. They’ll be going deeper in the coming weeks. Also, Ockenden’s data is available to download so that you can look for information too.

The Paul Revere example came to mind. Just metadata?

Favorites

Watching the growth of Walmart – now with 100% more Sam’s Club

The ever so popular Walmart growth map gets an update, and yes, it still looks like a wildfire. Sam’s Club follows soon after, although not nearly as vigorously.

One Dataset, Visualized 25 Ways

“Let the data speak” they say. But what happens when the data rambles on and on?

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.

A Day in the Life of Americans

I wanted to see how daily patterns emerge at the individual level and how a person’s entire day plays out. So I simulated 1,000 of them.