Your Data Twin

While exploring the data value exchange in our digital times, we came to understand that the accelerating collection of personal data starts to assemble into digital data twins of ourselves.

Inspired by the Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, we imagined one stage to be our physical self and the other our data-shadow self.

We asked 1,010 Americans through a survey and interviews about their sentiments and awareness of sharing personal data and the benefits they get in return.

One question we've asked, supported by the image surrounded by types of personal data, was–

“How do you feel about your digital data twin?”

It's strange to think about, but I'm not worried about it ever really happening. It would be very difficult for one single entity to collect and combine all the different sources that contain data about me and coagulate it into a "data" version of me. But there are some companies that might already have an arm or a leg to go off of already."

The data version could be insightful, but it should be something that is also controllable by me, not freely accessible by others without my permission, and even if my permission was granted for some entity to access that data, that the data access is never to be propagated to any other entity without my specific permission (and NOT by some obfuscated Terms of Use or Legal Disclosure or Privacy Policy that permits the entity to pass on my data when I gave that entity permission at some point to access/use my data)."

I do not want my digital self and my physical self to be inextricably linked. I want to be able to unplug from my digital self and be able to retain anonymity with my dealings on the Internet/through technology."

It seems like I have been violated and turned into a money making machine it is scary."

"I wish I could be off the grid. Unfortunately that is not currently possible."

The, the technology, robotics, whatever. Is it taking over my life? It's not my life anymore. If I'm not doing what I need to do to get to wear what I want to know where I want to go, if I'm not doing it, I'm not accomplishing anything. I'm not me anymore. I'm turning into a machine." 

It's scary to think that anyone could get this information and make assumptions about my personality and perhaps think I could be capable of bad things. Or, when there are lotteries to get rid of people, I will be too sick, or old, or vital to stay alive. People could use health conditions or physical traits to find those that they could steal a kidney from or other crazy stuff."

Curious how much the data skews our digital self when we're not wholly tied in with our physical. Or how much the digital self is aspiration vs what our real lives are like. What's 5k friends/followers really? How many people do you really know and engage with? How healthy am I really if my phone isn't set up to track my health? How smart are my opinions if I'm talking face to face about topics I haven't "liked" on social media?"

Obviously this is already out there so I'm not going to be scared, but I don't like that I can not monetize that info like a company can."

People will only see what I post and want to think or assume who I am...when I know that my opinion of myself is the only thing that matters."

I don’t think there would be a big deal about it to be honest I’m not hiding anything so I don’t care."

It seems like a stat sheet for a video game character. It describes somebody down to a number, but it doesn't tell you anything about them personally."


I think it would not be the right thing to do since they would be violating my rights as a citizen since everyone would have access to investigate about my life."

I would rather be a real person than just a piece of data."

I’m bothered by it.I'm already bombarded by ads as is.The collection of and reliance upon the digital self opens the floodgate for even more advertisements.I've even had cases where I am offered ads based SOLELY UPON WHAT I HAVE SPOKEN OUT LOUD IN MY OWN HOUSE. As such, I am rather sensitized toward this issue."

All designed to take more money out of my pocket."

How beneficial will this be to each person?How much will it cost?And for how long does the information get stored and what happens to information after a certain time?"

It honestly weirds me out a little bit. It's weird to think that a version of me exists that I don't actually know about, but other people do.

I don't like this, but I have no power to fight against it."

There are way too many people/companies who would think they are using this info for good purposes, but might actually be working against my preferences."

This sounds like an excellent setup for some creepy, dystopian novel or movie."

I mean I'm older, I've got limited resources and I just feel like my data is not worth that much."

I believe companies need to use data collection to better understand their audience. It's up to the consumer to decide what information is used or how much information they are willing to give out."

You just have to hope that you can prove that you're who you are."