“Every day, with each new technology, we grow more accustomed to the surveillance society… Whether we’re gaming, shopping, texting or watching TV, we’re generating data for others to scrutinize in the online world… At work, school, and the doctor’s office, digital portfolios burst with data about our assessed characteristics, talents and conditions. And most of us appreciate that. Perhaps not all these surveillance measures are of great importance on their own. But taken together, they describe important, large-scale changes in the way people and institutions operate.” (Gilliom, J. & T. Monahan (2012)
This short parapgraph from this week’s reading stuck to me. For my web production module (I am a Digital Media student by the ways) , we had to invent a story and build a website to illustrate it. My group and I decided to retrace a day in London, trying to understand and see what data we generate everyday without knowing. Whether it is using our phone for directions, paying contactless, streaming music, taping our oyster, scanning into lecture, buying food, it seems like today, every action we do once we leave the house generate more and more data and allow corporations to track us down.
In the course of our research , we went to an exhibition that was held in central London called “the glass room” “the glass room” . At the exhibition, there were many examples on how here in London, everything you do is tracked.
In 2016 there was reportedly 4-5.9 million cameras in the the city and so everyday , our faces must be recorder hundreds of times and different locations. Is that scary to you? Surprisingly, it isn’t to me. I think we have become so accustomed to sharing ourselves online that figures and statement like these do not even shock me.
When you log onto a open wireless network, they have systems that track your location and any app you open , they have access to that data . At the expo, I was told to never use google maps or checkmy bank balance when using a free network because this information is being collected and sometimes can be used to influence your browsing habits. For example , if you open your TFL app in Camden let’s say, you are likely to see an add for an event or for a bar before having access to the page you need. Same goes for Google maps.
“Location information: When you use Google services, we may collect and process information about your actual location. We use various technologies to determine location, including IP address, GPS, and other sensors that may, for example, provide Google with information on nearby devices, Wi-Fi access points and cell towers“
At the glass room, one of the workers told me they asked google to send them a copy of all the data they had collected on him from the past 2 years (so starting from 2015) and he received a 150 page document with the print font size in 9 , showing all of his data. Isn’t that scary? Once again it is, but it won’t stop me…
To conclude, knowing this, I personally do feel uncomfortable knowing that I am being watched non stop, however if you wish to live in 2017, it’s sad to say that it’s something we just have to accept.