Autobiography, Mobile Social Life-Logging and the Transition from Ephemeral to Archival Society

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Presentation to the "Studying Society in a Digital World" conference at the Princeton University Center for Information Technology Policy.

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Autobiography, Mobile Social Life-Logging and the Transition from Ephemeral to Archival Society

  1. 1. Auto-biography, Mobile Social Life-Logging, and the transition from ephemeral to archival society Marc A. Smith Chief Social Scientist Telligent Marc.Smith@telligent.com Studying Society in a Digital World – Princeton University April 24th, 2009
  2. 2. Patterns are left behind 2
  3. 3. Many organizations are adopting social media • Use of these tools creates data sets that map their internal social network structure as an accidental by- product. • Studying these data is sets is a focus of growing interest. • Research projects like SenseCam are now becoming products and services like nTag, Spotme, Fire Eagle, and Google Latitude while devices like iPhone and G1 are weaving location into every application.
  4. 4. Information wants to be copied
  5. 5. Bits exist along a gradient from private to public. But in practice they only move in one direction.
  6. 6. Strong links between people and content…
  7. 7. …are as str as the weakest
  8. 8. Cryptography weakens over time • Eventually, private bits, even when encrypted, become public because the march of computing power makes their encryption increasingly trivial to break.
  9. 9. No one expects privacy to be perfect in the physical world.
  10. 10. Unintended cascades Taking a photo or updating a status message can now set off a series of unpredictable events.
  11. 11. Additional sensors will collect medical data to improve our health and safety, as early adopters in the quot;Quantified Selfquot; movement make clear.
  12. 12. Continuous data collection Microsoft Research, Cambridge, UK: “SenseCam”
  13. 13. When my phone notices your phone a new set of mobile social software applications become possible that capture data about other people as they beacon their identifies to one another.
  14. 14. Interactionist Sociology • Central tenet – Focus on the active effort of accomplishing interaction • Phenomena of interest – Presentation of self – Claims to membership – Juggling multiple (conflicting) roles – Frontstage/Backstage – Strategic interaction – Managing one’s own and others’ “face” • Methods – Ethnography and participant observation (Goffman, 1959; Hall, 1990)
  15. 15. Innovations in the interaction order: 45,000 years ago: Speech, body adornment 10,000 years ago: Amphitheater 5,000 years ago: Maps 150 years ago: Clock time -2 years from now: machines with social awareness
  16. 16. 17
  17. 17. Sensors, Routes, Community Community Aspects: A Sociological Revolution? SpotMe: Wireless device for meetings and events
  18. 18. 19
  19. 19. Trace Encounters: http://www.traceencounters.org/
  20. 20. 21
  21. 21. Social Network Theory • Central tenet – Social structure emerges from the aggregate of relationships (ties) among members of a population • Phenomena of interest – Emergence of cliques and clusters from patterns of relationships – Centrality (core), periphery (isolates), Source: Richards, betweenness W. (1986). The NEGOPY network • Methods analysis program. Burnaby, BC: – Surveys, interviews, observations, log file Department of analysis, computational analysis of Communication, matrices Simon Fraser University. pp.7-16 (Hampton &Wellman, 1999; Paolillo, 2001; Wellman, 2001)
  22. 22. 24
  23. 23. Patterns of connection may uniquely identify De-anonymizing Social Networks Arvind Narayanan & Vitaly Shmatikov http://33bits.org/2009/03/19/de-anonymizing-social-networks/ Abstract: Operators of online social networks are increasingly sharing potentially sensitive information about users and their relationships with advertisers, application developers, and data-mining researchers. Privacy is typically protected by anonymization, i.e., removing names, addresses, etc. We present a framework for analyzing privacy and anonymity in social networks and develop a new re-identification algorithm targeting anonymized social-network graphs. To demonstrate its effectiveness on real-world networks, we show that a third of the users who can be verified to have accounts on both Twitter, a popular microblogging service, and Flickr, an online photo- sharing site, can be re-identified in the anonymous Twitter graph with only a 12% error rate. Our de-anonymization algorithm is based purely on the network topology, does not require creation of a large number of dummy “sybil” nodes, is robust to noise and all existing defenses, and works even when the overlap between the target network and the adversary’s auxiliary information is small.
  24. 24. Distinguishing attributes: • Answer person – Outward ties to local isolates – Relative absence of triangles – Few intense ties • Reply Magnet – Ties from local isolates often inward only – Sparse, few triangles – Few intense ties 26
  25. 25. Distinguishing attributes: • Answer person – Outward ties to local isolates – Relative absence of triangles – Few intense ties • Discussion person – Ties from local isolates often inward only – Dense, many triangles – Numerous intense ties 27
  26. 26. http://w NodeXL Network Overview Discovery Exploration
  27. 27. Tag Ecologies I Adamic et al. WWW 2008
  28. 28. Result: lives that are more publicly displayed than ever before. Add potential improvements in audio and facial recognition and a new world of continuous observation and publication emerges. Some benefits, like those displayed by the Google Flu tracking system, illustrate the potential for insight from aggregated sensor data. More exploitative applications are also likely.
  29. 29. Auto-biography, Mobile Social Life-Logging, and the transition from ephemeral to archival society Marc A. Smith Chief Social Scientist Telligent Marc.Smith@telligent.com Studying Society in a Digital World – Princeton University April 24th, 2009

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