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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 barcodeDecode 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 dataRequest 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 calculatorData Calculator
How much is your personal information worth? Why are you just giving it away whenever it is requested? Use this handy calculator to determine the fair market 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 www.we-swipe.us or contact info@we-swipe.us. 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. And special thanks to Chris Hoofnagle for his advice and support.

Privacy Notice: We collect information only to provide the online barcode decoder service, and do not maintain the information afterwards. You will be prompted to delete your image from our server immediately after a successful decode or we do so automatically within ten minutes of service. In addition we provide a downloadable version so that you can use the "Decode Your Barcode" tool on your personal computer without any transfer of personal information at all.