Quick: Where were you July 25, 2010?
Few among us could recall our whereabouts six years ago. But for those who had an iPhone in their pocket at the time, there’s no need for recollection.
Between June 2010 and April 2011, iPhone users unknowingly had their locations mapped and saved in Apple databases. This case of mass surveillance is the subject of “Where The F**K Was I?” a book by artist James Bridle. “Where the F**K Was I” is currently on display the The Glass Room.
Bridle’s title may be cheeky, but once his book is opened, the experience quickly becomes eerie. His steps are documented on a series of maps: His trip to Brussels becomes a telling series of red dots. So too do his errands in downtown London, and his stops on the EuroStar. Bridle’s every stop during a 10-month period is mapped with meticulous detail. It’s represented by 35,801 red dots. And these in turn represents the decay of Bridle’s privacy.
Bridle’s work is a sobering reminder of technology’s ability to create an intimate (and often unwanted) window into our lives. Even when that technology is a seemingly innocuous phone tucked in your jacket pocket.
Want to engage further? Mozilla’s SmartOn Tracking site helps you gain control of your personal information online.