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MAPPING DATA FLOWS

Understanding how the largest technology companies collect, use, and share user information across the internet. We’ve transformed the “Big Four” terms of service and data policies -- the thousands of lines of code that govern their use of your data -- into a database powering an interactive visualization, an initial version of which we invite you to explore and critique.

The data behind this visualization was created base on the following terms of service and privacy policies:

Apple Privacy Policy, last accessed on October 3, 2019.

Facebook Data Policy, last accessed on October 3, 2019.

Facebook Facial Recognition, last accessed on October 3, 2019.

Facebook Login and Account Kit, last accessed on October 3, 2019.

Facebook Payments Inc. Privacy Policy, last accessed on October 3, 2019.

Amazon Privacy Notice, last accessed on October 3, 2019.

Google Privacy & Terms, last accessed on October 3, 2019.

Google Ads and Data Policy, last accessed on October 3, 2019.

Google Manage Your Location History, last accessed on October 3, 2019.

Google Payments Privacy Notice, last accessed on October 3, 2019.

Google One Terms of Service, last accessed on October 3, 2019.

However, note that there are many more terms of service and privacy policy documents for each of these companies. Due to time constraints we chose to focus only on the main documents for each one of them.

This visualization is generated using three csv files:

Nodes.csv, which generates the data source, data type, and purpose nodes.

Generates.csv, which links the data source and the data type nodes.

CollectsUsesShares.csv, which links the data type and the purpose nodes.

For more information on these files, please refer to our data dictionary.

This data is is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Feel free to download and re-use it.

To learn more about our process, methods, and findings, download our Mapping Data Flows white paper.

For feedback, comments or suggestions, please contact us at mappingdataflows@browninstitute.org.

Team members:

JOHN BATTELLE - SIPA Senior Research Scholar, Adjunct Professor, Co-Founder & CEO of Recount Media

JUAN FRANCISCO SALDARRIAGA - Senior Data & Design Researcher, Brown Institute for Media Innovation

ZOE MARTIN - SIPA Masters of Public Administration

MATTHEW ALBASI - Masters of Science in Data Journalism

NATASHA BHUTA - SIPA Masters of Public Administration

VERONICA PENNEY - Masters of Science in Data Journalism

Mapping Data Flows is also supported by:

Brown Institute Logo Omidyar Logo

We use Google Analytics. We promise not to use the data for anything other than seeing how many of you come and what you do on the site. We won’t sell the data, although we may at some point visualize it. We can’t promise what Google’s doing with it, tho.

Built with p5.js and Tachyons.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License