The SWIPE Toolkit

R. A. Hettinga rah at
Mon Feb 2 20:11:01 PST 2004



The SWIPE Toolkit is a collection of web-based tools that sheds light on
personal data collection and usage practices in the United States. The
tools demonstrate the value of personal information on the open market and
enable people to access information encoded on a driver's license or stored
in some of the many commercial data warehouses.

Decode Your Barcode
This application unveils the mystery of the 2D barcode. Currently 39 states
use 2D barcodes to digitally store personal information on the backside of
drivers' licenses. What information is encoded on your license that
machines can read and you cannot?

Request Your Data
Send away for your information that commercial data warehouses collect
about you and sell to third party clients. What does this information look
like, how accurate is it, and who is buying it? Take a look at your data
files and find out for yourself. Currently we can help you send away for
information from ChoicePoint,Acxiom, LocatePlus and Experian. Report back
here when you receive your data and help us keep track of the companies'
response times and accuracy.

Data Calculator
How much is your personal information worth on the open market? Why are you
just giving it away whenever it is requested? Use this handy calculator to
determine the approximate value of your data bits so you can demand proper
monetary compensation. Now when you release information that will later be
sold for a profit, at least you'll be getting a cut. Use this calculator
here online or download it to your PDA and make calculations "on the go."


The SWIPE Toolkit is part of a larger project titled SWIPE that includes a
performance, installation, and workshop. For more information about SWIPE,
visit or contact info at SWIPE is produced by
Beatriz da Costa, Jamie Schulte, and Brooke Singer.

The SWIPE Toolkit is a 2003 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts,
Inc. (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with
funding from the Jerome Foundation. And special thanks to Chris Hoofnagle
for his advice and support.

R. A. Hettinga <mailto: rah at>
The Internet Bearer Underwriting Corporation <>
44 Farquhar Street, Boston, MA 02131 USA
"... however it may deserve respect for its usefulness and antiquity,
[predicting the end of the world] has not been found agreeable to
experience." -- Edward Gibbon, 'Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire'

More information about the cypherpunks-legacy mailing list