A day in the life of Camille, a 25-year-old cis woman living in Paris

News & Analysis

Written by Privacy International

07:06: Camille’s smart pillow sends a signal to her smartphone that it’s time for her to wake up. She checks the quality of sleep on the app – last night was not great. Because the pillow tracks the motion in her bed, the company knows what else she may (or may not) have been up to. But the company doesn’t just track her when she is in bed. By downloading the app, Camille has also authorised access to her location wherever she goes, her camera, her contact lists.

07:16: Camille checks her social media accounts. She sees an advertisement from a company selling over-the-counter sleeping pills.

07:32: She decides to go out for a run. But during her run she stops as she notices someone following her. She checks her social fitness tracking app and realises the man who has been following her has “liked” her workout.

09:01: Camille hops on a Velib, one of the bikes from the bike rental service offered by the city. She uses her Velib card, which means her data will be relayed to JCDecaux – the advertising company that the city has contracted to provide the service. While the data will be deleted once she is done with the bike and has brought it back to a docking station, all her communications with the Velib helpline will be kept for two years.

09:30: Camille arrives at work. She needs to use her pass to get into her office block. The data is stored in a database of every person coming in and out of the building. She cannot wait to change job. She applied for an exciting position in a small start-up last week and is eagerly waiting to hear back from them.

11:00: Finally, she gets a coffee break. She checks Tinder to see if any right swipes have led to a match. When she created an account, her information was not only shared with Tinder but with the whole IAC group, the corporation that owns Tinder, OKCupid, Match.com, Plenty of Fish and BlackPeopleMeet, as well as websites like Vimeo, Ask.com and the Daily Beast.

13:00: Camille receives an alert on her phone “It’s ovulation day – make sure you’re extra careful today!” Her menstruation app knows something about her even she does not. It also views her WiFi and network connections and has full network access. Camille’s data is also shared with academic institutions for research.

16:09: Camille goes on Twitter and starts tweeting using the hashtag #BalanceTonPorc, the French take on #MeToo. She follows a range of feminists groups on Twitter from Osez le Féminisme to La Barbe. She is unaware that the start-up who she applied to work for is using a profiling service to assess prospective employees and that her social media activity will be analysed as part of this. 

18:05: Before heading home, Camille swings by a pharmacy to purchase her birth control pill. Since she carries her Carte Vital, she does not need to pay anything: the state covers it… but keeps the data.

18:47: Camille gets home, which her smart meter Linky and her energy provider also know. They also know that she’s taking a bath.

23:33: Camille goes to bed with her connected sex toy that relies on a protocol called Bluetooth Low Energy. But what she does not know is that the protocol has many vulnerabilities, that could leave her at risk of being identified by nearby stalkers.