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Immersion: an MIT project that lets you spy on yourself

Jonathan Riggall

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Immersion is a project from MIT researchers that uses your email metadata to give you maps of the relationships you have with people. The metadata can group your relationships by areas, like money, or college or family.

To use Immersion, you simply enter your Gmail address and password. Immersion then scans all the From, To, Cc and Timestamp fields of your emails to create an image of your personal network. You can delete your data from Immersion whenever you want – the group are very clear this is an experiment and are not interested in holding on to people’s data.

Immersion: an MIT project that lets you spy on yourself

The point of Immersion is to show you how much can be learned from metadata. Companies like Google and Facebook have huge amounts of metadata on their users, and Immersion gives you an idea of the power and knowledge this gives them.

Currently Immersion’s servers are down – but you can give them your email address to be told when they are up and running again.

[Source: NPR/Boston Globe]

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