SXSW 2019

Designing Against a Data Dystopia


We need to design for data misuse.

An economy has erupted around our personal data. And because our data is valuable, there is an economic incentive to misuse it.

At times it feels like we’re living in a data dystopia. Palantir has developed “predictive policing” in New Orleans. Your Roomba is mapping the layout of your home without you knowing it. AT&T is selling your web browsing history associated with your real name and address.

But we can use dystopia as a tool. Dystopia helps us imagine futures we don’t want to create and by reversal, the ones we truly do. Together, we can build a healthy data future with a little imagination and a defined set of values, beyond profit.

Related Media


  1. Data has economic value and there is financial incentive to manipulate and misuse it
  2. Dystopia is a tool we can use to design against data misuse
  3. We will arrive at a set of values for data handling beyond profit



Agnes Pyrchla , Senior Strategist , frog design

Meta Information:

  • Event: SXSW
  • Format: Solo
  • Track: Design
  • Track 2
  • Level: Advanced

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