Secret Life of Data Competition

The Jean Golding Institute’s Secret Life of Data Competition and Awards Ceremony

When we think about the security of data on our phones and computers, we might think about passwords and permissions, or about data encryption – but we rarely think about what our data looks like, or what it does as it moves around hidden inside our phones, computers, digital devices, our apps and networks. This secret life of data – the traces, bits, and fragments of personal information that we leave behind us online – was the focus of this short story competition. The Jean Golding Institute, in collaboration with the Digital Security by Design (DSbD) Futures programme, delivered by the ESRC funded Discribe Hub+, hosted a short story competition exploring ‘the secret life of data’.

The competition sought creative stories that brought to life the secret life of data. The stories could imagine this life as a journey, a quest, a romance, or a tragedy; thinking of a computer’s internal architecture as a house, a jungle, a zoo, or a city; and the data as characters facing danger in the form of various digital threats and vulnerabilities.

The Jean Golding Institute were proud to host an awards ceremony on 2nd November, with readings of the extracts of all ten shortlisted stories, and the JGI extend their congratulations to the winners and runners up:

  • 1st place: Guy Russell – The Task in the Eight-Bit Pyramid
  • 2nd place: Fiona Ritchie Walker – Mini-Me
  • 3rd place: Ben Marshall – The Courier

All ten shortlisted stories have been published in a Secret Life of Data Anthology, available to buy from Bristol Books.