Case study: Quantified Toilets

Quantified Toilets sign
Quantified Toilets data feed


Provoke debate on the future of privacy and surveillance, particularly around infra- structure-level human-sensing technology


Critical making, speculative design, observations, qualitative analysis, quantitative analysis


To spark debate about the future of privacy and surveillance at a large international technology conference (CHI2014), we conducted a thought experiment: we designed and installed bathroom signage that gave the impression that all toilet ‘input’ would be automatically analysed, and the results published online. A corresponding website broadcasted a fictional data feed of the latest samples.


This project was carried out in collaboration with Matt Dalton, Angela Gabereau, Dr Sarah Gallacher, Dr David H. Nguyen, and Larissa Pschetz.

For more information, see:

Related media articles:

The Atlantic: 'What a Toilet Hoax Can Tell Us About the Future of Surveillance', 29 April 2014 (link)

Wired: 'Urine analysis hoax prompts health data privacy debate', 2 May 2014 (link)

Gizmodo: 'Your Behavior In This Toilet Is Being Recorded For Analysis', 2 May 2014 (link)

The Daily Dot: 'Would you be OK with pee-testing surveillance toilets?', 5 May 2014 (link)

Yahoo! Japan: '「データ収集する公衆トイレ」は是か非か', 2 May 2014 (link)

PC Tipp: 'Quantified Toilets: Wenn das WC alles über uns weiss', 2 May 2014 (link)

Engadget: 'Quantified Toilets: Überwachungs-Stunt auf CHI-Konferenz', 2 May 2014 (link)

Le Mouv: 'Des WC qui analysent vos données, ça vous tente?', 6 May 2014 (link)

Washington Post: 'What was fake on the Internet this week', 2 May 2014 (link)