Give Me My Data (2009)

Give Me My Data is a Facebook application that helps users export their data out of Facebook. Reasons could include making artwork, archiving and deleting your account, or circumventing the interface Facebook provides. Data can be exported in CSV, XML, and other common formats.

While clearly utilitarian, this project intervenes into online user experiences, provoking users to take a critical look at their interactions within social networking websites. It suggests data is tangible and challenges users to think about ways in which their information is used for purposes outside of their control by government or corporate entities.

Work metadata

  • Year Created: 2009
  • Submitted to ArtBase: Tuesday Aug 21st, 2012
  • Original Url:
  • Work Credits:
    • Owen Mundy, concept and programming
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Artist Statement

Give Me My Data exposes a central contradiction that dominates new media. While new media is dependent on the free flow of information, commercial ventures that drive media innovations frequently manipulate data in a proprietary manner.

Give Me My Data makes both a technological and artistic contribution to the unraveling of this contradiction. At the technological level, it provides users with a means to establish a new balance between the public and the private. It permits users to reconstitute that data in a generic form that then can be re-imagined in still other forms. Thus, Give Me My Data, rather than enabling a retreat from the public flows of the digital world, establishes the means by which individuals can re-enter the digital world, thereby ensuring the continual flux of data between private and public domains that is crucial for the continuation of our information economy.

At the artistic level, Give Me My Data encourages users to interpret how their “personal” data is, at one and the same time, their own data, someone else’s data, and everyone’s data, a provocation that encourages advancement of an ongoing—and necessary—dialogue about the meanings of such legal principles as “privacy” and “the public sphere” in a social system based on the ever-intense transmission of data.

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