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Ben Eine: “Art and data have value – but at what cost?"

Street artist – and friend of The Big Issue – Ben Eine creates exclusive work that instead of being bought with money can be exchanged for personal data

We live in a digital age, sharing information about ourselves every time we use the internet – whether we realise it or not. The real value of personal data is explored in a new initiative led by artist Ben Eine who has created limited edition art work in his famous lettering style for a two-day pop-up this week.

Teaming up with cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, the project encourages collectors to consider the value of their own personal data by making that the currency with which art can be bought. The Data Dollar Store will be the first ever shop to use data as currency in exchange for goods.

Shoreditch has significance to me as it is where I have drawn much of my inspiration

Ben Eine, who has designed covers of The Big Issue in the past, said: “Art and data have similar parallels – both have value but at what cost? By selling my exclusive artwork that money cannot buy, but instead is exchanged for data, Kaspersky Lab opens a new way of thinking about the meaning of data and its value.

“Shoreditch has significance to me as it is where I have drawn much of my inspiration. It is also the home to Silicon Roundabout, the heart of the UK tech scene and the digital revolution, a fitting location for the Data Dollar Store. It brings these two worlds together and turns the simple transaction as we know it, on its head.”

According to Kaspersky Lab 29% of people worldwide have become victim of a cyberattack and 39% leave their devices unprotected from attacks.

Playing on the parallel between the intangibility of art and information, the use of data as the only accepted currency aims to make shoppers think about the value of the data held on their devices. Whilst art is worth whatever the buyer is willing to pay for it, the Data Dollar Store asks shoppers what they are willing to part with without ever opening their own wallets.

The Data Dollar Store will be open in Old Street station on 6th and 7th September from 8.30am-7pm.

To find out more about The Data Dollar store visit www.thedatadollarstore.com

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