Trace: A Marketplace for Stolen Identities

  • Trace: A Marketplace for
    Stolen Identities
    This project came about from research regarding the Equifax data breach. Not only did I want to know how this had happened, I wanted to know where the stolen data was and how it was being used. Without answers, I decided to propose one. I imagined a premium marketplace in which the stolen identities were traded, both as a way to highlight the fact that this information is now widely available and to shame Equifax for their negligence. My goal was to develop a javascript program that would take personal information, such as names drivers licenses numbers and social security numbers and to transform this data into a secure digital fingerprint that could be used to represent the identities for sale.
  • The final form of the digital fingerprint takes shape as I develop the code to transform personal data into a system of numbers that can be interpreted as shapes. There are two layers, each coming from a different set of numbers generated from the data. Separating the layers into two colors, it becomes clear how the fingerprint is formed. Using a 30 person data set, I test the viability of the program to generate unique and visually compelling digital fingerprints.
  • With my data set, I mock up what a marketplace for stolen identities might look like. I anticipate its functions and develop a visual identity based on the contradictory messages such a site must embody: a secure and trustworthy source that sells stolen data.