Our data, ourselves

From The Boston Globe:

Data If you’re obsessive about your health, and you have $100 to spare, the Fitbit is a portable tracking device you can wear on your wrist that logs, in real time, how many calories you’ve burned, how far you’ve walked, how many steps you’ve taken, and how many hours you’ve slept. It generates colorful graphs that chart your lifestyle and lets you measure yourself against other users. Essentially, the Fitbit is a machine that turns your physical life into a precise, analyzable stream of data.

If this sounds appealing — if you’re the kind of person who finds something seductive about the idea of leaving a thick plume of data in your wake as you go about your daily business — you’ll be glad to know that it’s happening to you regardless of whether you own a fancy pedometer. Even if this thought terrifies you, there’s not much you can do: As most of us know by now, we’re all leaving a trail of data behind us, generating 0s and 1s in someone’s ledger every time we look something up online, make a phone call, go to the doctor, pay our taxes, or buy groceries.

More here.