Reclaiming Consumer Data

After consumer data is mined by companies, a hypothetical computer program would return the data to consumers so individuals can modify their buying habits in earth-friendly ways.

As we consume, we leave stuff behind. We leave behind waste and garbage and refuse. And increasingly, we leave behind mountains of data. ... These are straightforward, almost inescapable, facts of 21st-century consumer life, but they got Indhira Rojas thinking. As a graduate student in the design program of California College of the Arts, Rojas wrote her thesis on the role of design in creating a "zero-waste culture." This led her to imagine a hypothetical service she has named IndexR, which would mine those retail data mountains and shovel our shopping information back to us in ways that help us become better consumers.

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