Dear data,


An interactive installation about the decision-making process of an algorithm – and why that process is not neutral. Four phases of the AI – Collecting, categorising, classifying and profiling.

Research and project description

lowlands Festival
Dutch Data Protection Authority
Haga Ziekenhuis
Social Economic Council
Mozilla Mozfest
Oyfo Technology Museum

Dear data, how do you decide my future?

Data is all around us and increasingly a part of our daily lives. Without your informed consent,  all your clicks, likes, chats and swipes are collected and processed. From simple data about where you are or what you order to more advanced information about our emotional state, dreams and vulnerabilities. Everything is captured in data. Companies earn a lot of money from the trade in this information. For example, targeting ads: personalised messages tapping into your guilty pleasures at the right time and place. All are measured based on your browsing behaviour and app usage. Purely for their own profit: persuading you in more clicks and buys. 

In this interactive installation, Julia Janssen investigates the influence of data and algorithms on her future. How do they affect her choices and opportunities? That starts with the question of what data big-tech companies collected on her and how these data are used. She did data requests at several big-tech companies and was particularly interested in the data collection of Meta (Facebook). This company collects not merely data from her Facebook usage but also from her cookies and apps, the Facebook family (Instagram, Whatsapp) and the platforms where she logs in with her Facebook account (Spotify). Based on this information, they create a rather detailed profile of her interest and habits. 

Get to know Julia by exploring her personal data – well, a small selection of it. She printed 3500 data points and created an installation, games and video wall for this experiment. For example, you can find out what music she listens to, what events she attended and what conversations she had on a dating app. Little by little, you learn more about her. But, is this version the real Julia, or is this just her Meta version?