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The Glass Room in New York City © Tactical Technology Collective
The Glass Room in New York City © Tactical Technology Collective
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Exploring the Erosion of Internet Privacy with Interactive Art

Picture of Claire Lancaster
Tech & Entrepreneurship Editor
Updated: 25 October 2017
A pop-up shop in Soho has turned internet surveillance into art.

Rather than selling products, the faux technology store showcases more than 50 interactive artworks exploring the erosion of Internet privacy.

Produced by the non-profit Mozilla Foundation and curated by Berlin-based Tactical Technology Collective, The Glass Room appears to be an Apple-style retail shop, but instead ‘invites visitors to take a look behind the screens into the hidden world of what happens to their data’.

The Glass Room New York City
The Glass Room New York City | © Tactical Technology Collective

‘The Glass Room helps individuals understand how their data is interacted with online, and it empowers them to know how to make decisions to make their online life better,’ Mozilla chief marketing officer Jascha Kaykas-Wolff told Culture Trip.

Featured works include ‘Megapixels’ by artist Adam Harvey, which captures a visitor’s image in real-time and uses facial recognition tech to find a potential match from existing online databases. The interactive artwork gives visitors first-hand experience with the capabilities of real-time facial recognition tech, and challenges them to consider the use of biometric tracking not only in situations of terrorism and crime, but in crowds at public events.

Other featured works include Big Mother, which explores the pitfalls and possibilities tech advances can bring to elder care, to an embeddable chip from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that is capable of remotely controlling a woman’s fertility.

An ‘Ingenious Bar’ is also on site with an 8-day Data Detox Kits that promise to give visitors ‘more control over their digital life’.

The Glass Room New York City
The Glass Room New York City | © Tactical Technology Collective

‘The pieces are playful, provocative works that challenge you to think more about our day-to-day use of technology or explain things like how big companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon really work,’ said Tactical Technology Collective co-founder and executive director Stephanie Hankey.

The Glass Room London opens at 69-71 Charing Cross Road, London from October 25 – November 12, 2017. The pop-up follows the Glass Room’s December 2016 show in New York City and is making its London debut as part of MozFest, a festival exploring internet health. Find more information at theglassroom.org.