This MIT Website Tracks Your Digital Footprint Through Gmail


Metadata is a word that was once reserved for the halls of high-tech companies and academia. But since the revelation of mass surveillance programs by the National Security Agency (NSA) — which collect troves of big-picture data on American citizens — the concept of data about data has entered the public lexicon. Now, the techies over at MIT’s Media Lab are giving us a glimpse at our own metadata, giving us a cold, hard look at the bread crumbs of personal data we freely scatter across the Web.

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Immersion, which launched on June 30 after years in development, asks participants for access to their Gmail accounts, and in exchange, it creates a visual map of their networks. Each “collaborator” — or person with whom the participant has exchanged at least three e-mails — is represented…

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