May 28, 2013
Collusion: Final thoughts
Written by Emily Carr
Since the last blog post much have happened to the Collusion Plugin. The visualizations have developed, the developers at Mozilla have further implemented these ones into the current add-on, and the Collusion plugin and progress was presented to invited people at an event hosted by The Mozilla Foundation.
The last few months at Mozilla went to further develop the “clock visualization” initially started by Sabrina Ng. New iterations were developed to see how the trackers could be portrayed in a horizontal manner, rather than a vertical one, in order to deal with the complexity and amount of information displayed.
During the last weeks I have also collected raw data and started making visualizations in Microsoft Excel. These visualizations aimed at helping the research and give a clear image of where the intensity of data could be found and how we could deal with that. The representation is based on real data and I hope it could be useful in the further development of the add-on.
Besides working on the plugin for Mozilla I have also been finishing my graduation project. My bachelor thesis is related to the plugin and has aimed at creating a more emotional connection between users and online tracking. Because of its relevance I have chosen to include this piece in my final blog post. The main goal with the thesis has been to raise awareness around online tracking, as there is little knowledge, but huge numbers of privacy issues. The thesis has transcended its initial concept of analytical Internet research to become both an informational tool as well as vehicle for evocative response. By confronting my audience with something omni-present in their lives, yet something that they are usually misinformed about or unaware of through visual representation, I hope to make this aspect of the Internet accessible to a wider range of users and raise awareness. Online tracking is still in development as a relatively new technology with both positive and negative aspects. For it to grow responsibly the users themselves need be actively involved. This project explored how design can be applied to raise awareness and encourage involvement around the topic and ultimately shape the use of online tracking for the future. The final product resulted in a motion graphics piece that is to be released soon.
Working with the Mozilla Collusion team has been a valuable experience and opened my eyes to new and interesting aspects within design. I will like to thank the entire team at Mozilla and the Emily Carr Social + Interactive Media Centre for allowing myself, and the two other ECUAD students to take part in such a meaningful and interesting project. I am excited to see the final product taking shape and the final collusion add-on to be released.
Together lets change the world of online tracking!