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Wearing Our Hearts On Our Sleeve

By openly providing access to our online preferences, we subject ourselves to targeted ads that have the power to influence elections

Photo of Jeevna Prakash
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Sketch 1 (1,500 characters)

Our social media preferences are used to influence what ads we see, and by leaving a digital trail of hearts on Twitter and Instagram, we unknowingly provide information about ourselves to those who might manipulate our vote. Analytics run on our personal data and social media habits can be very effective in determining what kind of news and information we are targeted to receive, which is especially problematic during election seasons. If given the time, I would add some visuals representing the type of news that may be misleading. I.e. some clouds purposely distributing partisan posts to each line of voters.

What have you learned through this sketching process? (1,000 characters)

I have learnt a lot through research about hacking methods and the ways our data is tracked. Not only am I more aware of the ways data is collected, I am also reminded of its power to influence other people.

Tell us more about you. (1,000 characters)

I am an undergraduate student studying computer science and cognitive science at the University of Virginia. As someone who studies how computers work and how people think, I am very interested in how to intuitively represent abstract concepts. I also have a background in early childhood education, where I developed science and programming curriculums for elementary-aged children. Accessibility to science and technology concepts is very important to me, especially as we start using technology from an increasingly young age.

Why are you participating in this Challenge? (750 characters)

As a computer science student (and a social media user), I realize the need for more clarity around the subject of cybersecurity. Often, cybersecurity threats are explained in the context of hacking, but fail to include concepts more salient to the public like digital privacy and personal data. This combined with experts in the field who are unable to relay their complex knowledge in a relatable and accessible way, creates a vacuum where technology users are unaware of potential threats. Technology is becoming ubiquitous, and so should the knowledge of how to protect oneself in the digital space.

Website(s)

jeevnaprakash.com

What is your experience with the field of cybersecurity?

  • I have minimal experience and/or knowledge in the cybersecurity field.

What best describes you?

  • I’m a visual creator by hobby.

How did you hear about this OpenIDEO Challenge?

  • Someone in my network (word of mouth)

Location: City

Washington D.C.

Location: State / District

Washington D.C.

Location: Country

  • United States of America

2 comments

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Photo of Phil O'Farrell

I like the concept - I don't think I've seen the data harvesting power of the "like button" portrayed before.

I'd love to see you finish the image with the clouds of fake news targeted at each voter, but is there also a way to reinforce the importance of "liking" each story? How can you show that a simple like has given advertisers (and bad actors) access to that person's stream in particular?

Is this the style you'd like to use for the final image? It might get complicated with all the extras added. The same message might be possible with only two or three voters shown in detail.

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