The Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for BOLD Cities organises datawalks to inform citizens about data collection in the public space. Kids news program 'Jeugdjournaal' participated recently in such a walk, under the guidance of researcher Els Leclerq from TU Delft, together with a group of children. Dr Leclerq pointed at wifi trackers, cameras and other points of data collection. Afterwards the children played the game 'Your neighbourhood - Your data'.
Cities are increasingly becoming hubs for data and digital technologies. What digital tracks do you leave behind?
Smart lampposts, vehicle detector loops in the road, public Wi-Fi in the city centre and car parks that read your number plate: our living environment is becoming increasingly driven by modern digital technologies and vast data streams used to monitor, manage and improve the infrastructure and public services in the city. The Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for BOLD Cities aims to make people aware of these data points, in part by means of a new game: ‘Your neighbourhood - Your data'. The game was launched during the Weekend of Science (Weekend van de Wetenschap) on 6 and 7 October and also coincided with the launch of the national public survey on data literacy.
The Centre for BOLD Cities is using the game to investigate Dutch people’s knowledge and behaviour when it comes to digital technologies and data streams in their own neighbourhoods. When do you provide personal data? What are they used for? How do you actually feel about that? These are the types of questions that researchers headed by Prof. Liesbet van Zoonen want to answer by calling on everyone in the Netherlands to participate in the online game to study data literacy.
What digital tracks do you leave behind?
The number of data points, such as cameras, sensors and Wi-Fi trackers, in our living environment is increasing. The majority of us are unaware of these developments, even though they have an impact on our privacy. Security cameras are visible on the street, but network cables are buried underground and the linking of data takes place behind closed doors. Prof. Liesbet van Zoonen, director of research at the Leiden-Delft-Erasmus Centre for BOLD Cities: ‘Cities are increasingly becoming hubs for data and digital technologies. It is essential that citizens and those in government gain knowledge and control over this.'
Interactive game and digital walk
Anyone wishing to participate in the research can play the interactive game ‘Your neighbourhood - Your data’ online and take a digital walk through a fictitious town. During the walk, you answer questions about your knowledge and behaviour concerning your personal data. In which situations are you willing to provide (personal) data in exchange for a service or security? And what do you actually know about the devices and applications that collect these data?