If you’re anything like me, you probably experienced several mini freak outs while watching this interview. Information I consider valuable and critical as shared by ___ about the state of internet surveillance and how far from the truth we really are. It comes as no surprise that our information is being looked at and viewed for other purposes, but the biggest take aways from this interview are as follows:
- Our needs are being exploited for money and
- The companies buying have become very wealthy.
In the interview, like Shoshana Zuboff informs us that a lot of this private surveillance has gone to work creating systems that keeps us ignorant and constantly track our movements to predict our behaviors. We made to live in the illusion that we’re giving them a small amount of information in exchange for service…but they’re taking so much more.
An example of this would be tweeting on Twitter. They care less about what you’re writing about and more about whether you use exclamation points or periods because they are predictive signals…
These “predictive signals” all are indications that transfer to the “5 factor personality test”, which is a test most have taken in undergraduate school or high school. The test judges your level of extroversion, agreeableness, emotional stability, conscientiousness, and intellect/imagination. Apparently, other things can be inferred about you like sexual orientation and gender….and it’s being hunted and captured online AND throughout the real world.
Apps capturing where you are, your messages, your camera and microphones… and it’s done in plain sight.
I’m hurt most by what I found out about PokemonGo! When I think about it now, it was smart of them to mobilize it by having establishments pay for guaranteed footballs into their places of business…but when I think about my privacy, the private conversations and texts that could’ve been accessed through apps like this…so under our noses.
And the worst part of it all is that companies like G**gle have made it so obvious, that we don’t even question it much anymore. I am naturally paranoid and skeptic; it took me forever to put Touch ID on my phone because I am that much of a skeptic. Information like this let’s me know that, clearly, I have not been skeptical enough.
At one point, the interviewer says:
“We are quite happy to hand over this data…conveniency seems to be winning.”
That’s because we have no idea what’s going on behind these operations. And because they are “unimpeded by regulations” meaning that it owns virtually everything we do on the internet, therefore making regulation…beyond manageable.
All this makes me want to do is smash my laptop and phone and go hide in a forest…but much like Shoshana Zuboff said, they’ve set us up to feel so trapped in the systems of surveillance that we couldn’t leave even if we wanted to.
All for the sake of convenience.
*cue deletion of my Facebook, Gmail, and PokemonGo! accounts*
One reply on “*cue deletion of my Facebook account*”
I’m glad to see you citing convenience as the key, but we should not understand about the human desire for connection. I hear from countless colleagues, fully aware of what Facebook does, but they cannot part because the fear losing touch with so many relatives and family.
It’s not only our convenience, but the simplicity/ease of use it offers people with low technical skiils/confidence.
The first step on the journey is awareness. In previous years we had students engage with the web documentary “Do Not Track” which provides a deeply interactive experience with what is more than film
We had the director Brett Gaylor as a Studio Visit guest too.
And it is actually hard to delete them all. I am not sure this is the right series, but I recall a column describing how difficult/impossible it was to completely disconnect from the Big Trackers
And thus the question is- how to we manage knowing this exists but perhaps accepting that we cannot avoid it? Is there a way of being inside the surveillance dome but keeping a safe bubble?
I don’t know (also, I have been living fine without Facebook for many years, but you are never completely out of their reach)