App Maps Users’ Lives Via Inbox Scanning
ONLINE PRIVACY—U.S.September 23, 2013
Wired reports on an app built by a group of MIT researchers that visualizes users’ social lives by looking at their e-mail inboxes. Immersion uses timestamps and the to, from and CC fields to draw a map of the user’s social connections. It offers users a look at Big Data and the “digital exhaust they’re continually leaving behind,” said MIT’s Cesar Hidalgo, adding it’s a particularly useful perspective following revelations of NSA surveillance measures. The app does allow users to delete data upon logout. “If I am able to withdraw my money from my bank account, I should be able to withdraw my data from my e-mail provider,” Hidalgo said.