Beatriz da Costa - Jamie Schulte - Brooke Singer
Franklin Furnace Future of the Present 2004 artists/collaboration

announce the launch of
The Swipe Toolkit

The Swipe Toolkit
Launches February 1, 2004

The SWIPE Toolkit is a collection of web-based tools that sheds light on personal data collection and usage practices in the United States. The tools demonstrate the value of personal information on the open market and enable people to access information encoded on a driver's license or stored in some of the many commercial data warehouses.

Decode Your Barcode

This application unveils the mystery of the 2D barcode. Currently 39 states use 2D barcodes to digitally store personal information on the backside of drivers' licenses. What information is encoded on your license that machines can read and you cannot?

Request Your Data
Send away for your information that commercial data warehouses collect about you and sell to third party clients. What does this information look like, how accurate is it, and who is buying it? Take a look at your data files and find out for yourself. Currently we can help you send away for information from ChoicePoint, Acxiom, LocatePlus and Experian. Report back here when you receive your data and help us keep track of the companies' response times and accuracy.

Data Calculator
How much is your personal information worth on the open market? Why are you just giving it away whenever it is requested? Use this handy calculator to determine the approximate value of your data bits so you can demand proper monetary compensation. Now when you release information that will later be sold for a profit, at least you'll be getting a cut. Use this calculator here online or download it to your PDA and make calculations "on the go."

The SWIPE Toolkit is part of a larger project titled SWIPE that includes a performance, installation, and workshop. For more information about SWIPE, visit or contact SWIPE is produced by Beatriz da Costa, Jamie Schulte, and Brooke Singer.

The SWIPE Toolkit is a 2003 commission of New Radio and Performing Arts, Inc. (aka Ether-Ore) for its Turbulence web site. It was made possible with funding from the Jerome Foundation.