Social Palimpsests - clouding the lens of the personal panopticon

Dave Murray-Rust, Max van Kleek, Laura Dragan, Nigel Shadbolt

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The use of personal data has incredible potential to benefit both society and individuals through increased understanding of behaviour, communication and support for emerging forms of socialisation and connectedness. However, there are risks associated with disclosing personal information, and present systems show a systematic asymmetry between the subjects of the data and those who control and manage the way that data is propagated and used. This leads to a tension between a desire to engage with online society and enjoy its benefits on one hand, and a distrust of those with whom the data is shared on the other. In this chapter, we explore a set of obfuscation techniques which may help to redress the balance of power when sharing personal data, and return agency and choice to users of online services.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDigital Enlightenment Yearbook 2014
Subtitle of host publicationSocial Networks and Social Machines, Surveillance and Empowerment
EditorsKieron O'Hara, Carolyn Nguyen, Peter Haynes
PublisherIOS Press
Pages75 - 97
Number of pages23
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-61499-450-3
ISBN (Print)978-1-61499-449-7
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • data politics,obfuscation,personal data stores,social


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