Instructor: David Schuff, Section 001

Weekly Question #7: Complete by March 17, 2016

Leave your response as a comment on this post by the beginning of class on March 17, 2016. Remember, it only needs to be three or four sentences. For these weekly questions, I’m mainly interested in your opinions, not so much particular “facts” from the class!

Here is the question:

Consider your own “quantified self” — give an example of data collected that is routinely collected about you and how it could be used. This data could come from an organization to which you belong, a device you use, or something else.

57 Responses to Weekly Question #7: Complete by March 17, 2016

  • Data that is routinely collected about me is the websites I visit on Google Chrome. I am continuously logged into my Gmail, and thus Chrome knows when I am online. This data could be and is used in order for certain websites to better market themselves to me. For example, I often go on to shop for tea, and after a few visits on the website, Teavana advertisements began to appear everywhere on other websites. Some websites sell their data to others in order for them to better market and reach their target audience.

  • A piece of quantified data that is collected in our daily lives is on our phones about app usage. In the settings, we can see how much time we are spending on apps like Facebook. This data is probably used by Facebook to track their popularity and maybe what times they can post more adds based on what time people are online the most. I feel like for individuals, this is a reality check on how much time they are wasting on apps.

  • I (sometimes) use the MyNetDairy app on my phone, I tell it the food that I eat and it the exercise that I do daily, and it tracks my steps automatically. From this information it collects my daily calorie intake and the amount of calories burned. The app also takes a look at the amount of micro and macro nutrients that I should/ that I do consume. This app is designed to help people become more aware of what they are consuming. It can also give you a calorie limit to follow in order to lose x lbs in y days.

  • I was very surprised on the amount of applications on my Iphone that was able to have access to my location. Different types of applications use the data about my location on different purposes. For instance, Yelp use my location to show only the restaurants in the city that I’m currently at. Or Safari use my location to feed it to the websites. If I was in another country, Safari search result for “Temple” would be a temple-temple, not Temple University. Another example could be Amazon, which filters the nearest seller for the items that I was looking for.

  • Some data that is often collected on myself is my purchase history and viewed items on Often I see this data used in the form of ads specifically targeted to my spending habits and things Amazon believes I would be interested in buying. Its actually sometimes pretty helpful to have an item pop up on the side of a website i’m viewing to help make it easier to find it.

  • I usually search the address of the place on Google map before I go there, Google remember the places I searched not only in the search history. It is tracking me when I start my trip. Usually after I arrived that place, if I open the google search widget again, a little note will pop up saying how long it will take to go back home from a address I searched before and arrived now. It sometimes freaking me out that it tracks me all the time, I then turn off the function of showing how long you need to back home, even though I know it is still tracking me without letting me know. But it somehow remind me of what I did and where I went for a day.

  • As a part-time nanny, I am constantly driving to and from work. I do this everyday, and when I do, I use my GPS tracker to keep an estimated time of arrival. By using my GPS app, I could track how many minutes a day I am driving, or how many hours a week I drive. I could also find out how much time I spend sitting in traffic. The information would come from my iPhone, and the app I use, and the information would be of use to me, because I could figure out how much time I should allow myself before leaving for work, and I could figure out a rough estimate of how much money to set aside for gas/week.

  • Each week, Spotify provides me with a “Discover Weekly” playlist which is the result of an algorithm that monitors my listening habits and spits out a handful of recommendations. While I don’t believe listening habits can predict many other behaviors likely to be exemplified by a given person, Spotify certainly uses it to keep me satisfied with its service by offering recommendations which keep me coming back and paying for a subscription!

  • There is no surprise when it comes to the data that is collected about my “quantified self”. First and foremost I would say my music because I listen to music soo much and often thru my itunes it has tailored the genre of music I listen to the most and plays my favorites more often. Secondly would be my google search engine it collects all my search data and makes it easier to search for my most visited sites faster.

  • When I buy clothes in some websites, once I click a picture of a shirt or Jeans, but did not add it to shopping cart, then some similar items or so- called recommend items appear in the website. And if i did not buy anything or just saving some as favorite, some clothing website will send advertising email to me. These website used my browse data to show up the similar style items in order to increase the success rate of customer purchasing.

  • I use a customer loyalty card at the supper market in order to receive discounts. The information gathered could be used to make many inferences about me and my household. For instance, inferences could be made about my health from the type of food I buy, the amount of food, and the frequency of my purchases. Since this market also has a pharmacy section, there is data about over-the-counter drug purchases. It would also be possible to infer how many people live in my household, their gender, and approximate age. This information is currently being used for targeted marketing in the form of coupon printouts at the register.

  • A data collected about me is on the Health App on my IPhone, which tracks my steps and the number of floors that I climbed on that specific day or week or month. I check it regularly to see how active I have been and if I have met the goal that the app has set for me for that period of time. At the same time, I know if I need to exercise more or be more on the move and what are the days that I am more active and what are the activities that are making me walk more.

  • Data that is routinely collected about me is obviously the websites that I visit most often. The sites I visit frequently will pop up as advertisements on many webpages. I very rarely surf the web, meaning I usually stick to the same websites. For example, prior to interviewing for an internship over winter break, I very often visited the companies website to learn about them, and I still see advertisements for them on my webpages, and they are not a big named company, so I know its coming directly from my web activity.

  • I currently own a Apple Watch. The Apple Watch tracks the number of steps that I take, the numbers of calories burned, the amount of time exercised, and the amount of miles walked/ran. This data can be used to determine how active and health conscious I am about myself. This data can be used as we discussed in class regarding insurance premiums. My insurance company could take this data and determine whether or not I am living a healthy lifestyle. This could then determine if my premium will increase or decrease.

  • I think the data that got collected from me everyday is the GPS function in my phone. My phone knows where I am at the exact time of day. My family and friends can use it to know if I’m still on my regular track in the day. If I’m suddenly going in a different direction, they can check up on me to see if I’m alright.

  • Data that is routinely collected about me is how many steps i take in a day. The iPhone has a health app that keeps track of how many steps i take in a day. This data is helpful because I can set a goal for myself and at the end of the day i can go on the app and see if i reached my step goal for the day or not.

  • When I am at an event or an interesting place I sometimes “check-in” using the Facebook app showing my friends where I am at. Using this data you could compile a pretty accurate idea of what I like to do for fun and leisure. If Facebook wanted to, they cold look at the places I check in to frequently and find trends in that data to customize the ads that appear on the side of my Facebook screen.

  • Whenever I text someone and click the emoji button for a text, I can go into the recently used area. My phone is constantly taking data about what emojis I use most frequently and which ones I have used lately. This data is collected to make it easier for me to find the emojis I most commonly use in text in order to send a text faster.

  • Most websites routinely track the activities of their users in order to send targeted advertisements to them. One time I was on the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts’ website checking out one of their shows without any intentions of purchasing a ticket. I had the same advertisement for the show I was interested in on different websites at least seven times a day, for a week. The reason this was heavily advertised to me was not only because I visited the website and looked at the information for this concert, but because the website probably knew how close I live to the Annenberg Center.

  • One piece of data collected in my life is when i am playing video games it will track how much you have played. For example, in the Call of Duty franchise, it will tell you how much real life time you have played in the game. It could vary from only a couple of hours to months if you have played the game that much.

  • An example of a company that routinely collects data about me could be Facebook. I am online on Facebook very often and check a lot of things, read articles, and like pictures or videos. Facebook could use that to give it to other firms that produce things I read about, for example sport clothing companies. It would be more likely for them to sell it to me since I read a lot about it which shows that I am interested. Facebook can use data to give or even sell it to companies that are interested in my activities to sell their products.

  • Data that is often collected from me is my body weight. I like to track my body weight to make sure I am maintaining a healthy body. I take my weight around two times per week. I try to make sure it doesn’t fluctuate too much.

  • Usually if I’m using an app like Facebook, Twitter or even just browsing using Google Chrome the app or site tracks what I’m doing. Whenever I like something on Facebook, I might see something similar to what I liked in an ad to the side. More commonly though, if I like a page, I’ll also get suggestions from Facebook of other pages to like. Intsagram is similar. If I follow a celebrity on Instagram, a list of other celebrities Instagram thinks I should follow pops up right away as well. Some apps and websites are more subtle with how they’re advertising or tracking, while others don’t seem to care how forthright they’re being.

  • Data that is collected in my life is when I am buying stuff on Amazon. They use that data to recommend certain items that I may be interested in and most of the time, the recommendation is quite accurate.

  • Examples of my “quantified self” are my course grades. I use the grades I receive to gauge my understanding of course material and the effort I’m putting into my classes. If I receive a bad grade on an exam or assignment, it’s an indiction that I don’t understand the material well enough and must put in more effort in the future. If I receive a good grade, it’s an indication that I should keep doing what I’m doing.

  • When I use my fitness pal on my iPhone and record which foods I eat and how many calories I burn in a workout, I am keeping track of information that can quantify and give insight to my daily habits. The information can be used to tell if I’m eating healthy, exercising regularly, what time of day I eat at most frequently, the time I tend to exercise in a typical day, and many other pieces of insightful knowledge regarding my health.

  • An example of data that I collect and track would have to be my daily steps. My phone automatically tracks my steps but I actually take into consideration to review how many steps i walk in a day/month/year. I also tend to track how many calories I burn through out the day. I track this data because I tend to walk a lot in a normal day. I’ve set my goal at 12,000 steps a daily with an average of about 10,000 steps a data. This information can infer many things such as how active of a person I am or how many calories do I burn in a day.

  • I go to a gym that has an app associated with the gym itself. While I work out, I wear a heart monitor that transmits all the data about my heart rate to the app. The data from this is used to determine how many calories I burned while working out and see my average heart rate. The gym can use this data to see how often I am there. Also, they could use the data to see how healthy or unhealthy there clients are.

  • My FIFA 16 (soccer video game) collects data about me on a daily basis. Particularly in my career mode, where i manage a team, the most data is recorded. It records how many games I have won and lost over the years, my players stats, as well as a fake budget I have to sign and trade other players. Though this data is not important, it does show my daily activity and how much time I spent, in games, on the Xbox.

  • Considering my own quantified self, a piece of data collected about me is in the workout book i use while at the gym. My workout book shows which specific workouts i do each day at the gym, and I then write in the number of sets, reps, and amount of weight used for each exercise. This data accumulates over time and it allows me to track the amount of strength i have gained in a particular period of time by comparing the numbers logged last week, to numbers from a month ago. This type of data can also help me decide which exercises i need to improve on when comparing it other exercises.

  • I have my cell phone with me every day, and it has a Health app installed in it that tells me how many steps and flights of stairs climbed daily, but it does not tell me what the goal are for each day or week. If I care about what the health app’s data have collected about me, I would fit in the “lazy person” bracket because I only have less 3,000-5,000 steps each day. What the health app does for me is to motivate me it lets me know that if I had less than 5,000, I should, at least, meet that goal that way I don’t feel like a lazy person. Health app on my cell phone is an app that collects the numbers of step and stairs climbed. But it also has collected health data about me, and it collects daily nutrition and it also conduct sleep analysis as well, once I put the regular eating and sleeping habits, the app will give a health result about me to let me know what is my current health condition is. It is fascinating what this app does.

  • An example of data that is routinely collected about me representing my quantified self is a nutrition app I have that tracks my eating. This data could be used to see that I track my eating tightly, and the goals I have with nutrition. In another light, this data could be used to see places I frequently eat at, of which, the data could be used in various ways (hopefully harmless)

  • The most easily quantified information about myself that I can think of is my online presence. Between my phone and my computer if I’m awake I’m in some way connected to the internet. Even when I’m not using either, my phone usually has twitter, snapchat, and instagram running. While I’;m on my computer nearly everything I do involves an account; from blackboard and other school sites to shopping sites, netflix, and email, I’m constantly logged in. Not only could my time spent on each website be monitored, but also where I am when accessing. Probably three times a week I fall asleep watching netflix, which could be measure by the automatic “are you still watching” messages that inevitably are left unanswered. On top of that, pretty much the only time I close all apps and turn off my computer is when I’m sleeping, which would probably be obvious looking at usage data.

  • Companies more than likely collect data on while I am shopping. In fact, they definitely do collect data because when I finish shopping online or looking on websites, there are advertisements for the products I recently searched or products similar to those I last searched for. The companies use the data to predict what products I may want or need in the future.

  • One example of data collected on me is the videos that I watch on YouTube. Whenever I open the YouTube app on my iPhone, there are a variety of different recommended videos and channels, all of which are listed as “recommended” because YouTube finds them to be similar to the videos or channels that I have visited, watched, or listened to recently. This tool is helpful because sometimes it introduces me to new music, videos, etc.

  • My Netflix account gives me suggestions based on TV shows and movies I’ve previously watched. It breaks suggestions down to titles I might be interested in based on a particular title I viewed, shows I might want to continue watching, and shows categorized by genre. By tracking titles I’ve previously viewed and providing selections for shows to watch next, it keeps my interest and I continue to utilize Netflix on nearly a daily basis.

  • When considering my quantified self there are so many things that collect data from me, but one that I refer to often is how many meal swipes/diamond dollars I have left on my account. Every time I swipe for a meal at one of the dinning halls or go buy something with diamond dollars it is immediately recorded on temple’s data bases and available to see on TUPortal. This is very helpful because I can constantly track how many meals I have during the course of the week, which allows me to make the decision of budgeting meals or aggressively swiping for meals towards the end of the week depending on the remaining balances.

  • I am a cadet in the Air Force ROTC program and they routinely record multiple aspects of my life such as my level of physical fitness, my GPA, my SAT scores, my ranking as a team member and leader both ranked by my peers and my commander, my general knowledge on the Air Force (quantified by quizzes), my Air Force classes results every semester, my medical status (updated every other year), and other various details. They create an objective method to quantify each score into scale and enter it into a nation-wide spreadsheet that has every other cadet in my class. I am basically turned into numbers. This is how they determine who gets “picked up” (contracted), what field you get into, and what base you serve at your first duty assignment.

  • I am on the football team here at Temple, and they are constantly collecting data on me. They check our weights every day. They have been collecting it for the past three years. With that information they can tell the cycle of my weight. Cycle meaning when it is up, down, and the exact patterns of the days they take it. The can tell when I am sick, when i have not been working out, or if I am just dehydrated. This information allows them to supervise my weight as it is correlated to my health.

  • Items that I search for and buy on amazon is data that is collected and then Amazon uses this to suggest other items I might like and even offer some new bundle deals, also the ads I see on facebook are affected by my amazon searches and purchases.

  • I use the internet every day while being logged in to google chrome. The computers compile data about my searches and then tie it back to my name and IP address so it’s common that I’ll find an ad for the website I was just on on the side of my facebook screen. While most of it is irrelevant to most people, there are plenty of companies that benefit from people who do more online shopping than myself by being able to advertise on many webpages.

  • Because I am a college student, data is often collected about me and my peers such as course grades, cumulative GPA, diversity ratings per university, student financial information and parental income, and admissions SAT scores. One specific example is student’s employment status after graduation. The Fox School of Business, and specific departments within temple such as CSPD, use that data in order to advertise their university to prospective students, maintain their AACSB accreditation, and receive funding for specialized programs. To collect this data, students are asked to complete two surveys upon graduation, one through Fox and one through Temple University as a whole, as well as report their job offer to CSPD about the title of the entry-level position, their major, how they acquired the job, and potentially their starting salary. This data is especially useful to attract prospective students to become an MIS major because of the percentage of students who have full-time employment upon graduation.

  • Recently I have been going home on weekends (I currently live on campus). When I go home and connect my iPhone to my cars bluetooth system a notification always pops up saying 46 minutes to “home”. Since I live on campus and spend most of my time here my phone believes that I live in Philadelphia and when I’m at my real home on the weekends it believes that I am just traveling. So my iPhone collects a lot more data about me then I realize.

  • A piece of quantified data that is collected in our daily lives is on our phones, the location services setting. With this setting on you allow any app to track where you are at any time. This comes in handy when you are trying to find a restaurant or a gas station when you are out. It also comes in handy if you lose your phone you can use an app called find my iPhone that will locate where you left your phone.

  • A type of data that is routinely collected about me is the location data from my phone. Since I take my phone everywhere with me, it knows the places I frequent. My phone uses this data to tell me things like “Right now, it would take you about 50 minutes to drive to Philadelphia” when I’m home, or when I was in high school “It would take you about 10 minutes to drive to work” (of course confusing work with school). The phone picked up on my routine whereabouts and uses it to give me travel information.

  • Data that is routinely collected about me is re-marketing data. Whatever I like on Facebook, or whichever site I got to, I get specific ads geared towards the items I just viewed or liked. For me this mainly happens when I shop online, since every time I view a product, similar ones show up as advertisements from other sites in my news feed. It’s kind of scary to think how much we are being tracked at all times on the web. This data could be used to send trials or offers rather than show annoying advertisements.

  • An example of quantifiable data that is collected about me daily is my daily use of my credit and debit cards. Each time my cards are swiped I get a notification on my phone about my purchase amount, where the purchase was made and the total left on the account. This type of data can show where majority of your money is spent and whether an unlawful purchase was made. This type of data can track your behavior and location at all times because it is very difficult to not use your card and not run out of cash.

  • Some data that is collected about me would be the people I interact with most on my phone. When I go to send a new message, my phone suggests people based off of who I text the most. Also when I send snapchats, snapchat gives me a list of the people I send most of my pictures too and whether or not I am somebody they send most of their stuff to.

  • I know for a fact that Google probably logs a fair amount of information about me, considering the fact that I get personalized ads. I’m not one to click on ads, so it doesn’t really matter that much, but it’s amusing nonetheless. Additionally, Facebook seems to think I have an inordinate interest in really, really poorly made iOS games, because those are the only things I see on there, probably because of the pages I have liked. Another piece of quantified data is probably the fact that, as an author, I make some /strange/ google searches for the sake of research, so I’m probably on one of several lists 😛

  • An example of data collected that is routinely collected about myself is the health app on my iPhone. This app tells you how many steps you have taken in a day, and ho far you have traveled. I use the app when i am running to look at the amount of miles i have ran, i have noticed it is about .05 miles. I can also use it to tell what days i worked and haven’t worked. I work doing manual labor so on the days i have worked my step count is usually the triple amount of my normal step count.

  • As an illustration of my quantified self, there are data collected when doing search in the web. In fact, I usually look for different brand name of men vitamins and their positive effect on the metabolism; thus, by automatically being logged in my google account I realize that most of the time my pages have been populated by diverse advertisements on health products. I believe by then being a target of my own data search.

  • Spotify is my favorite streaming music app which I use for hour almost every single day. That said, they have collected a lot of data about me. They have access to the type of music I listen to, how often I play specific artists, and probably many other details about my listening activity. They utilize this data to create a playlist called Discover Weekly which reccomends me artists and songs past on my listening activity.

  • Each day at work I clock-in to create a timestamp that is gathered for two weeks at a time. As I swipe my ID, the machine collects data like the clock-in and clock-out times as well as the location. This allows the system to track the time I’ve spent at work and allocate the proper funds for each pay period.

  • Everytime I clock into work ( which I do through my phone) I am geo-tagged. They do this because we have an array of locations that we could be working at so there is a geo-tag for each location. It also helps prevent false hours and is helpful to the managers for a few other reasons

  • Data that would be collected about me, since I’m always listening to music, is the number of songs I listen to each day. To get more specific it could be how much time I spent listening to a specific artist or album that day. Eventually all that data could be collected and sorted in a database. Using this data you could probably tell how busy I was that day because of the lack of music I listened to or even my mood that day & time of day by the genre of music I’m listening to. iTunes keeps a history of songs listened to in a list on the app.

  • I have the Nike Running app on my phone that quantifies many pieces of data that evaluates me when I go for runs. For example this app tells me how far I ran, how long it took, how I felt personally about the run, and what kind of terrain it was. Using all of this data the app allows you to draw conclusions about yourself. The app probably doesn’t do this itself because Nike doesn’t want to be judgemental.

  • Some data collected about me is what apps I use on my phone and at what time. When I use my phone, I can open my most recent apps, making navigation quick and easy. Additionally, I will get notifications from, lets say a game, at night when I use it most telling me I should get on and play the game.

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