Your Data SElFie

February 26, 2017
February 26, 2017 natrivera

Here it is, a screenshot of my Data Selfie.

Nat Rivera Data Selfie

While you are on Facebook the extension is tracking what you look at, how long you look at something, what you like, what you click on, and whatever you type.

-Data Selfie Video

This chrome extension uses machine learning and natural language processing to track your Facebook habits, it then gives you a command-line-like representation of that data. I found the extension via lifehacker, link to their article here.

Everyone knows that social media companies are collecting our information to in order to sell to advertisers and even political campaigns, but to actually get a glimpse of how the data looks is scary. After only one week of usage, the extension has shown insight about how I use Facebook and even started predicting my personality, religious, and political orientations.

The fields of data science and machine learning are capturing my interest more and more as I find discover different ways companies and government agencies are using tools similar to this. Stories like the one of Robert Mercer, who was written about today in this article on the Guardian, show how he has used data to influence public perception.

Michal Kosinski, the centre’s [Cambridge Analytica] lead scientist, found that with knowledge of 150 likes, their model could predict someone’s personality better than their spouse. With 300, it understood you better than yourself.

-excerpt from Guardian article

We give up tons of information about ourselves in what has been described as our digital exhaust. With every like, share,  and post we offer and more information about our lives. With this chrome extension you can get a hint of what is happening behind the scenes.

Update: 2/28/2017

Another look at my data selfie…

Machine learning is used to make inferences about my preferences using information about what I have typed.




Nat Rivera
Student of Business Administration at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

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