I went last week to the Quantified Self Show and Tell. It was my first encounter with active ‘trackers’, and I was curious. Our modern life is so busy, how could someone find more time to keep track of daily information? And is it worth it? What about data privacy?
Misha Chellam acted as facilitator through the presentations, and though I’m not yet convinced to track all my moves, I have to say I liked the tools, the discussions, and the ambiance of the gathering.
Joost Plattel told us about the difficulty of having a unified format for all the things he has been tracking in 2010. Matthew Cornell presented the Edison project, with which I agree completely: a very easy framework for vulgarising the scientific method. Do you want to do an experiment? Declare your goal, how will you measure it, when it starts, when it finishes… then do it, Edison helps you track your progress!
We saw also a visual framework to show the tracked data, presented by Candide Kemmler, great graphical interface! And a great plus for me, based in passive gathered data. And last but not least, we had a presentation about data privacy. Ben Senior presented us the actual legal situation in Germany and in the UE, and it’s sure companies should be busy adapting their sites to meet the law requirements… yet I don’t see that happening. My kid has a completely different view about data privacy than my generation: when I warn him about the dangers to post in Facebook for ex., he says: Mom, why do you care about keeping it private? But as discussed with Ben, misuse of personal information has historically been a problem, creating the right ‘to be left alone’. And more than ever, in this electronic data era, that right has to be preserved.