Project description

Many late nights, desk edits and a new eyeglass prescription later, this has become one our favorite pieces. It’s a project that didn’t rely on structured data but rather a nontraditional approach to data analysis. The goal was to show how much data a person gave select companies during everyday activities, knowingly or unknowingly. The scope of data collection became so vast Stephanie needed to create an original methodology and structure.

What makes this project innovative?

Stephanie created a multi-step pizza night scenario. She read the Terms of Service for multiple companies—multiple times— to examine the language used by each company, and if they clearly state what data they take with or without a user’s knowledge. To get to those nuggets of information, one must read endless pages of tech jargon. Stephanie did all of this for the reader specific to the scenario, and also in a completed list included at the bottom of the article.

What was the impact of your project? How did you measure it?

A sound methodology and innovative visual style is how I measure success. As far as audience engagement: Nearly 100,000 views with an average engagement time of 1 min 52 seconds. I feel this was a great success for a publication that is behind a paywall. We often measure success by sound methodology and innovative visual style. That bears out in audience engagement: in this case, 1 min 52 seconds.

Source and methodology

Wall Street Journal analysis of privacy and data collection policies from Inc.(including their Conditions of Use and Alexa policies.), Apple Inc. (including Apple Media Services and iOS Security), Domino’s Pizza Inc. (including their Terms of Use), Facebook Inc. (including their Terms of Service and How Facial Recognition Works), and Alphabet Inc.'s Google (including a separate policy for key terms). Word count was generated from the preceding links. In the "Picking Apart Privacy Policies" section, Domino's Pizza Inc. data applies to the Domino's Pizza website, mobile website, applications and third party devices accessed through Domino's AnyWare platform.

Technologies Used


Project members

By Stephanie Stamm Contributions: Illustrations: Jessica Kuronen. Tripp Mickle, WSJ's Apple reporter, reached out to his sources for comment, clarifications and was my second pair of eyes and support.



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