Ch 11: #Againstsurveillance Field Notes

The Way Forward

The readings this week present a way forward. In Kelley’s article “Students Are Pushing Back Against Proctoring Surveillance Apps” we get a jumping off point from which we can follow a trail of hyperlinks on how to address issues of surveillance and privacy in education. The emphasis is on raising awareness, asking questions, rallying with others who are impacted, and holding those in authority accountable for making the necessary changes policy-wise. “Digital Detox #6: Build Back Better” serves as an awareness raising tool that can help with knowing the small steps we need to take now in our personal use of technology to help forward a fight for more privacy and less surveillance. Again, we have to take responsibility for our own use of technology and help others realize that privacy isn’t an individual matter, as we learned in Zuboff’s writing. Ultimately, both articles capture the main take away we should all be leaving netnarr with to move towards change – collective action.

This is a good way to wrap up the readings because they both address the “what now” question that is raised each time we dive into one more issue in technology. The big bad boogie man of predators hunting innocents online or computers that control your mind have been put in their place, and the real monsters of consumerism, ignorance, passive resistance, and feelings of inevitability are revealed. The true hero of the story is ultimately this idea of collective action in resistance to the policies and technology that are being put in place by authorities who don’t think to ask or don’t want to ask for input from those who will be impacted the most. But collective action can’t occur unless we raise awareness, make the threat we are facing around technology into something real and not abstract and dystopian, and show people the way to practical steps they can take to effect change.

The feelings of wanting to go off the grid and burn all our technology isn’t in alignment with this idea of collective action – unless of course we could collectively get everyone to burn their technology, but that isn’t going to happen. Technology isn’t a force to be derailed, it is one to be directed. It is too late to go back, we are already on the path of having a world that is run and impacted by technology on almost every level, so lets start rallying around how to have a say instead of letting others speak for us.

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