19 Jul 2014

Data Baby: internet snooping at Latitude festival

Channel 4 News takes the Data Baby to Latitude and surprises festival-goers with their own online lives.

Thousands of festival goers descended on Suffolk this weekend for the Latitude event – and the way they participate speaks volumes not just about music events but the very way many people now socialise.

Every gig is filmed on a sea of mobile phones held aloft over the crowd: a sight now almost ubiquitous at music events.

Above these fields near Beccles hovers a weekend-long swarm of digital communications (at least for those lucky enough to get a phone signal or wifi connection – something which, in a frustrating irony, has continually eluded the Channel 4 News team).

Photos of friends and performers, tweets, emails and more are being shared almost everywhere you look.

But there’s a risky side to this compulsion to publish, and it’s formed the basis of our latest story involving the Data Baby: the fictional online identity we created to find out what happens to our data online.

We’ve been finding out how much data people inadvertently expose in this increasingly connected world, and how it leaves them vulnerable to hacking, identity theft and more. Our results will be broadcast when we get back from the festival.

But in the meantime, we’re doing a performance of our own here at Latitude. On Sunday at 2pm we’ll be telling festival goers in the Literary tent all about the Data Baby idea, and whether you’re at the event or not, it’s your chance to tell us what you think of the project; what areas you’d like the Data Baby to peer into, an where we should take the experiment next.

The Data Baby talk is at 2.10pm Sunday in the Literary Arena.