As we watch, we are watched by others.
Advertisers have long been tracking users so as to better sell clicks, a prominent weapon in their arsenal being the browser fingerprint. Through fingerprinting, humans can be tracked across websites without cookies being installed, purely based on the unique characteristics of their browser.
Websites rarely request permission before fingerprinting; for example, this website has already taken your fingerprint and made it public to the world.
Your fingerprint now lives on in this virtual garden; each flower and transparent ghost represents a past visitor, while the solid character models represent a live connection. These models vary their colours and shape based on your fingerprint hash, the colourfulness of the garden emphasising our diversity online, which shows us how effectively we can be tracked.
Distracted by content, we are often unaware of what information we are sharing with website hosts. Maybe this is just an IP address, to be cast aside in a dusty server log. Maybe this is everywhere you moved your mouse and everything you've clicked on the webpage, all the social media accounts you're logged into, and all the details required to uniquely identify your device out of millions.
Advertisers know us intimately, our data masked behind veneers of anonymity which blurs with our name and body through a myriad of terms, conditions and advertiser data sharing arrangements.
We are content to share with them, to abandon and distribute ourselves across an internet of surveillance.
Complete the form to see the thoughts of previous participants.
Use the left mouse button to rotate the camera, the right mouse button to track,
and the scrollwheel to zoom. Double click anywhere on the ground to move the fingerprint
character about the garden, double click on an empty bench to sit down.
Touch and move to rotate the camera, use two fingers to track,
and pinch in and out to zoom. Double tap anywhere on the ground to move the fingerprint
character about the garden, double tap on an empty bench to sit down.
Made using character models provided by Quaternius (CC-0), Flower models are provided by Alex "SAFFY" Safayan (CC-BY), the garden bench model is by Frank Lynam (CC-BY), and the grass tuft model was another Quaternius asset (CC-0).
Created by James Hancock as part of a Masters degree in Digital Media Art. My personal website is jameshancock.art, please get in touch via its contact form, or find me on Twitter @jhancock532.
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