Would more creative applications in software be unleashed if we didn’t start by saddling designers and developers with privacy and security concerns? I propose a “Safety Last” approach to software development.
Despite our supposed concerns that private data is collected and used by third parties, we willingly agree to provide personal information in exchange for online utilities: email, calendars, social media and e-commerce. “Safety Last” is a series of software applications exploring the possibilities that might emerge if we intentionally sacrifice computer privacy and safety.
The project explores what software might look like if we removed a current main principle in software development: that is, the assumption that software should be safe. The applications derived from this project are built-out thought experiments that suggest a different approach to exploring digital interactions and privacy. “Safety Last” consists of a file sharing application called “Open Desktop” and two remote control projects “Participate” and “Notify”. All the projects are intended to have a useful functionality to them which plays out against the control the user must sacrifice in order to use them.