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False Positive @ Nuit Blanche 2015 | by
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False Positive @ Nuit Blanche 2015

A project by Mark Shepard, Julian Oliver, Moritz Stefaner


Welcome to candygram, where you are more than just a number.


Tired of being treated like yet another anonymous subscriber?


At candygram, we get to know our customers personally, and we know you better than you think.


candygram - let's get personal ®


It is not just the trust we place in network infrastructure but also our willingness to trade bits of personal data for access to online services that renders us vulnerable. Data has increasingly become a part of daily life, and dataveillance has in turn become more robust and widespread than many had imagined. With the disclosures regarding the data collection and analysis activities of the NSA, and the proliferation of marketing strategies incorporating personality profiling and predictive analytics employed by retailers such as Walmart or Target, new questions emerge regarding our everyday data transactions and the relationships and inferences that can be drawn from them.


Caught between the ruse and exploit, we find ourselves subject to ever more sophisticated forms of profiling, both online and off. Yet if algorithmically generated data-bodies are our future, they are also prone to error. FALSE POSITIVE probes both the insecurity of mobile networks and the fallibility of online profiling, foregrounding the infrastructural politics underlying mobile communications systems and the surreptitious network practices of contemporary informatics regimes. It promotes public literacy surrounding the sensitivity of our data transactions, and what they can–and cannot–reveal about us.


FALSE POSITIVE deploys text messaging, stealth infrastructure, street intervention, and data visualization to enact a surveillance conspiracy engaging the public in an intimate, techno-political conversation with the mobile technologies on which they depend. Engaging the subtle processes by which personal data can be exploited, and generating "data-portraits" based on social and spatial associations inferred from this data, the project probes the gray areas of both personal consent and statistical probability where a speculative association is established when there is in fact none.

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Taken on October 3, 2015