Data & Society > our work > op-ed > My Experiment Opting Out of Big Data Made Me Look Like a Criminal

TIME | 05.01.14

My Experiment Opting Out of Big Data Made Me Look Like a Criminal

Janet Vertesi

In this op-ed, Data & Society advisor Janet Vertesi argues that opting out of personal data collection is not a simple or straightforward way to have privacy from marketers and technology companies. To demonstrate the high price of opting out, she discusses a personal experiment in which she attempted to conceal her pregnancy from the “bots, trackers, cookies and other data sniffers online that feed the databases that companies use for targeted advertising.” “When it comes to our personal data,” she writes, “we need better choices than either ‘leave if you don’t like it’ or no choice at all.”

Video of the Theorizing the Web panel in which Janet Vertesi presented her opt-out experiment:

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