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Technology & Innovation

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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