Reflections of Everyday Activities in Spending Data

Schwarz, J., Mankoff, J., and Matthews, H. S. Reflections of Everyday Activities in Spending Data. In Proceedings of the 27th Annual SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (Boston, Massachussets, April 4 – 9, 2009). CHI '09. ACM New York, NY, 1737-1740.

What do credit card companies and banks know about your habits, your personality, your friends, your lovers? This work explores the information obtainable simply from your financial transactions. From your carbon footprint to your daily habits, we show that quite a bit of information can be learned from this readily available data source, without requiring extra instrumentation or sensors.

Carbon footprint of a six person household (monthly), obtained from examining utility bills. The footprint rises in the winter, (the home’s walls are not insulated) and falls in the summer (due to the shade of several large trees). This household does not drive or fly much.