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Accessories for the paranoid

An alternative approach to data security

As collecting personal data creates profits, tech-companies have found a way to circumvent our civil right to privacy. Being a prerequisite to accessing a service, users only have limited control over their personal information. The project rebels against this lack of empowerment in the imbalance between ordinary people & powerful companies. The "Accessories for the Paranoid" explore an alternative approach to data security. As our physical environment reads, collects and stores an increasing amount of user information, this series of parasitic objects are designed to produce fake data. Through blurring our digital profiles, our true data identities get to hide behind a veil of fictive information. As a series of four exemplary objects, they stand representative for the need to regain control over our personal data.

Object A: Un-hacking webcams

Anyone with a little sticker on the top center of his laptop is aware that hacking a webcam is not hard, neither for the nerd next door nor secret services. Object B takes the principle of a fault toy camera and applies it to data security by displaying different scenes through the glance of the webcam.

Object B: Kidding Alexa

Amazon’s echo, the voice assistant for a connected home, reacts to the call of „Alexa“. Thus having to listen at all times, she observes, processes and collects data in her users’ homes’ whenever switched on. Object A is a sound device to feed Alexa with fake information or numb her when the situation calls for it. One of three modes will play over the headphone if switched on: white noise that lets no sound and information slip through, requests to occupy her with useless tasks or dialogues from movie scenes to let her collect fake information about her user and their common surrounding.

Object C: Leaving fault traces

Connected to any computer, Object C will generate fake online data. On the push of the button, an algorithm will randomly create site-specific content on the websites of services such as google, facebook, youtube, twitter or Amazon.


Concentrating on the individualities that are specific to the service, the libraries in the code will be unpredictably influenced by changing content.

Object D: Blurring use patterns

As a parasite to any connected device that is able to collect data, Object D will push their
buttons randomly if activated, thus creating blurred user patterns during night time or when
not actually home.

Cologne, 2017

Student project at
Köln International
School of Design

Thanks for this great collaboration:

Pia-Marie Stute

dutch design week 2019Young Talent Award, 2019

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