Readings 7: Privacy, Surveillance + Exhibitionism

Privacy is the state or condition of being free from being observed or disturbed by other people.

The word privacy should be taken out of the dictionary because “privacy” does not exist anymore. For the most part, everything we do is being recorded/documented. It’s a surprise to  me that everything we say isn’t being recorded as well. (I’m sure one day it will be) This weeks readings had a lot of details that I would like to talk about.

First, let’s discuss “Lifelogging”. In the article “On the Record, All the Time,” written in 2007, Scott Carlson talks about “Lifelogging.” He talks about this subject like it is so far-fetched. He writes “consider that the latest cell phones are equipped to record video and track your location”, I laughed to myself when I read that because he only wrote the article six years ago, and look, cell phones track our location and record videos now, only six years later. He says that “lifelogging” & the fascination of recording life dates back to 1945. The whole idea of lifelogging is really neat. Our children, our loved ones, when we pass will have something to look back on and have history that we existed. It is how we have gotten to this point that we are at, that is the concerning thought.  We put all this information about ourselves on the internet for the world to see and we don’t even think twice about it anymore. Yes, our families will have records of us, but at what risks?

In Sherry Turkle’s “Alone Together” we read the chapter titled, True Confessions. The entire time reading I was thinking to myself, who would post these types of confessions online? I must have been living under a rock for the past five years because once again, I have never heard of these confessional sites. I understand that they act as therapy to most people, they are a place to confide secrets. I just don’t think its the smartest idea. It’s sad to think that there are enough people in the world that don’t have a close friend, or a family member that they can confide in and that could support them. That they search to find comfort and a “community” in an online confession world. I personally would never put my deepest darkest secrets on the internet for the world to see because nothing on the internet is private. I know, you can change your name to hide your identity, but come on, if someone searched hard enough they could find it.

Back to the recording of lives. In “A World of Witness”, the topic of cell phones recording every day life is discussed. Cell phones were once only used to make calls. Mostly in cases of emergency. Now they are not only used to make phone calls but also, to text, to take photographs, to Skype, & to update your status on Facebook. Cell phones have now also been used to vote in elections, & they have been used in terrorist acts. The article states that cell phones are affecting healthcare, environmental monitoring and human rights.  They can help environmental monitoring by recording personal lives and routines to determine higher areas of pollution.

The article “Help Wanted: Busybodies with Cameras” was CRAZY! (<– that’s what I wrote in my notebook) It’s absolutely nuts! That bounty hunters in Seoul South Korea use their cameras and camera phones to catch criminals in the act. Then they report it to the authorities and get paid for it. Where are the authorities?! Shouldn’t what the bounty hunters do, ( taking pictures of people with out them knowing or agreeing), be considered a crime? It’s so invasive. I get it, those being photographed are committing a felon, but it’s sort of wrong still. The authorities are being paid the big bucks to catch criminals. Shouldn’t they be the ones finding them? I guess I’m trying to say that these bounty hunters shouldn’t be needed. It shouldn’t be a way of getting income.

GOOGLE (GOOG) GLASS! it’s awesome! I’m going to contradict myself right now agreeing with Google Glass but I can’t help it. It’s a great gadget and it’s a great use of technology. Most days I find myself wishing I had a camera to capture a moment in time and with Google Glass I wouldn’t be wishing anymore. The one thing I don’t like about it is how it’s connected to everything. If I had a pair I would be annoyed when I’m taking a picture and enjoying a moment in time and then, BING! in the upper right corned its letting me know I got an email. I wish things could go back to being separate!

Lastly, “Anti-Drone Camouflage: What to Wear in Total Surveillance”, artist Adam Harvey created a line of clothing to protect people from being seen everywhere they go. The material that the clothing is made with, shields people’s faces from being seen on cameras. I love this idea. I think it is extremely innovated and I want a hoodie 🙂




Questions I thought of when reading this week:

1. Would you send a “Postcard”? If so, what would it say??

2. What do you wish your cell phone could do that it doesn’t do already?

3. What are your thoughts on “lifelogging”? I have a few friends with children already & they created Facebooks for them as timelines. Do you agree with this?

4.  Is “lifelogging” copyrited information?

5. Scott Carlson brings up the thought that one day everyones conversations will be recorded. That one day a verbal contract will be as good as a written one. Do you agree with this idea/concept? Why or why not?




Readings 6: Suggestions, Recommendations, and Dataveillance

Connected, everything is now connected, we are now all connected. From social networking, to navigational systems, to cell phones, to television. Everything is tracked, recorded, and connected. This is a very scary realization to most people. This weeks articles deal with the topic of algorithms culture and the lack of privacy on the internet.

The definition of algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for calculations. Algorithms are used for calculation, data processing, and automated reasoning.

Examples of websites that use algorithms are,, and Match and eHarmony are both dating websites that use algorithms to find similarities between customers and pair them with matches based on their likes and dislikes. does the same thing but for finding roommates at different colleges. In the article, Hitting It off, Thanks To Algorithms of Love, the author John Tierney, brings up a valid point. Humans base a lot of their decisions on feelings and emotions. Using online dating sites to find love could work, and there is proof that it does, but sometimes it doesn’t. Using Algorithms to find love could work because it may spark interest based on the similarities between two people but after two years are you going to be bored? That’s the question Mr. Tierney brings to our attention. If two people are too much alike, will those people eventually get bored with one another?

There are many pros to using algorithms to make matches. Because we do make a lot of impulse decisions as humans, they aren’t always the right decisions for us to make. I always tell my friends “numbers don’t lie.” For example if you are torn about a decision or a relationship, make a pro and cons list. Which ever one has more points, go with it. I personally think that online dating and roommate sites work, but I know a lot of people are hesitant. I think a lot of good could come from them. Humans relate well with others that have the same interests and passions as one another. I wish I knew about URoomSurf when I was a freshman in college. It could have saved me a room change.

Now onto the topic of privacy (or lack there of)…

How much is TOO much? I am all for companies suggesting other products for me to buy because I love to shop, but how they do it and how often they do it is where the problem lies.  Let’s begin with Amazon.  I am not sure if I am more creeped out by amazon or less creeped out because they actually have other people track and email customers different suggestions. So I feel as if its nicer and more personal because another person is actually making a suggestion but then the other side of that, is that an actual person is watching your purchasing and spending habits.  Is that an invasion of privacy?

In, Retargeting Ads Follow Surfers to Other Sites, they tell the story about Julie Matin and her “stalking shoes”. Julie was just browsing online one day and clicked on a pair of shoes. She thought they were cute and wanted to buy them but restrained herself because she thought she didn’t really need them. Then all of a sudden, every web page she visited, the shoes were in an advertisement. They followed her to every web address she went to. She felt a little creeped out after a while. It was like a sales woman who just would not leave her alone. If a sales woman in a department store stalked a customer throughout the store it would cause some sort of law suit and become news on the five o’clock news,  but when its an advertisement online, it doesn’t break any laws?

I really do think that advertisements on the internet work. They are clever and they are subtle. Most people, including myself,  had no idea about tracking cookies. I thought that it was just a coincidence that the products I was interested in were sometimes in an advertisement on a web page that I was visiting. Part of me is all for it, because sometimes you get recommendations for products that you have no idea about or that you could really use. However, I think they are taking it a little too far. My thoughts on the matter is that I think they should continue to use the algorithms to calculate what we might purchase next, but the advertisements should stay on that one website. It should not be allowed to follow you to another webpage. Its becoming a little much and a little overwhelming. They need to keep the advertisements on the websites that the products deal with. There needs to be some sort of boundaries. If they don’t make boundaries now then in the future we will have absolutely no privacy at all, and there will be nothing we could do about it!

The information that bothered me the most in this weeks assignment was in the video Hot On Your Trail. I had no idea that every move you make is being recorded. We think, and we have become comfortable with the idea of being tracked online but that is not the only case. Now we are being tracked everywhere we go.  If your phone has a navigation system on it i.e. google maps, they can tell your every move that you make. Not only could they track where you go but they know the exact store and what you buy. Then they use that information to create more ads targeted for you based on that purchase. My mind was blown away watching that short video. Nothing could be kept a secret anymore. It’s some what frightening knowing that your information and  the history of yourself is being stored somewhere. Who has access to this information? Why do they need to know this information? What if the information ended up in the wrong hands? How do they decide who gets access to this information? Just a few important questions to think about.

In the video clip from Tom Cruises movie Minority Report Tom’s character John Anderton eyes are being scanned to recognize that it is John Anderton. Then the advertisements are made to be directed to him. It seemed so far-fetched when I first saw the movie in 2002 but somehow I feel like that make believe world is not too far away from becoming our world.  Artifacts From the Future:Dating Sites in 2020 asks “What will our world look like in 10, 20 or 100 years?” I thought that was a great question. I think we are going to still look similar to how we look now. We will probably dress the same, have our own individual styles but we will have no privacy. I think that no matter where we go we will have to scan our fingertips to open doors, or unlock our cars. This way the government will be able to know who was in what building and at what time. The only positive thing that could come from living like with this type of technology ruling our lives is it could help find criminals and maybe stop criminals from committing crimes. They won’t be able to get away with bad behavior anymore. They won’t be able to hide because someone will always be watching. However, having someone know your every move is quite uncomfortable and invasive.

A cool website that everyone should check out is ‘What Should You Read Next?’ It is a simple concept and easy website to navigate. All you need to do is type in a book that you recently read and liked and it will suggest other books you will like based off of key words. I typed in, The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks, and a list of books came up with the key words, love stories, american, fiction etc. It’s really neat and a very useful website!





Some Questions to Think About:

What do you think about tracking cookies?

How do you feel about dating websites?

Your personal information being stored… Who sees it? What do they use it for? What if it ends up in the wrong hands? Where does it go? How is it protected?

In what kind of world will our children grow up in?

Behavioral Targeting: Is it invasive or helpful?







Readings 5: Digital Marketing & Viral Media

The definition of marketing, approved by the American Marketing Association Board of Directors,  is the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large. So how does one market products or services online?

It took advertisement firms a while to strategize and come up with different ways to market products and advertisements online. They had to start thinking differently, more creativity. In the article “YouTube Ads Turn Videos Into Revenue” the executives came up with a clever plan. They came up with a plan that not only protects them from breaking copyright laws, but it also brings in profit. Google owns YouTube. I did not know this until the article, but in 2006 Google bought YouTube for over a billion dollars. In 2010, 90 percent of Google’s revenue was Ad searches. YouTube have become widely successful because of their marketing plans. They have made agreements to share half of their profits with their sources. What does this mean? It means that when videos are viewed, half of the profits from the video are given to YouTube and half go to the creator of the video. It is a win/win situation.

Alec Brownstein hit the nail on the head when he marketed himself to get a better job! The article, “For the Love of Google: Landing a Job with Search”,  tells the story of how Mr. Brownstein landed his dream job. He captured the attention of his current boss by purchasing a Google ad that connected to his bosses name. When his boss Googled himself Alec’s Ad popped up and got his attention. It was truly genius!

One of the other topic in this weeks articles is Viral Media. Old Spice is a perfect example of successfully making Viral Media. In the articles “How the Old Spice Videos Are Being Made” and “Old Spice Campaign Generated 35 Million Video Views in 7 Days” explains their marketing and sharing strategy. Old Spice wanted to answer their fans question from the social media sites. They came up with a very successful plan. They made short entertaining videos to do so and within days, the videos became viral. It gave the “Old” Old spice fans questions to their answers but also made “New” Old Spice fans! Over 35 million people viewed and enjoyed Old Spice’s 186 videos. Their YouTube page was the 3rd most viewed channel on YouTube. Nice job Old Spice!

When creating advertisements the first question ad executives ask themselves is ‘how can we reach the most amount of people?’. They want their ad’s to be seen and they must think of the most effective way to do so. The articles ” ‘Consumer’ or Multipliers’ ” and “How Spreadability Changes How We Think About Advertising” makes us think about this topic. To my understanding, Viral,  raises the question ‘To How Many’? How many can the content be seen by? Spreadable deals more with the importance of  what form the content is in, how the content appears, and whether people want to share the content based on the meer appearance of it.Designers need to ask themselves, do they go in a Viral Direction or a Spreadable one?

Since the online world became more popular than the real world Advertising took the back seat to Product Design. A perfect example of this is the online world called Second Life. It is an online game where real people make avatars of themselves and life a separate life online. So, like any other social networking site, Second Life encouraged Advertisers to create Ads for the new world. Advertisement firms totally bombed because the Ads came of as “boring and unimaginative”.

In 2009 MTV launched a campaign that shortly caught the attention of thousands of people. They teamed up with foursquare, a popular “checkin” site at the time, offering a GTY (Get Yourself Tested) badge. On foursquare people were checking into every place they went. The more places you check into the more badges you collect. The GYT badge was simple to receive. All you had to do was check in at STD testing center. Sounds simple right? Two questions immediately popped into my head. 1. Who would check into a STD testing center? 2.Who wants the world to know their every move? (What is the point of Foursquare?)


The Get Yourself Tested Badge from  Foursquare:



Some Questions to Think About:

1. Alec Brownstein marketed himself in a humerous, clever way. How would you market yourself?

2. Other than series of short films, what is another way companies can catch peoples attention?

3.If you were to design an Ad would it be more important to you that your Ad went “Viral” or if it was “Spreadable”?

4. Have you joined Foursquare? Why or why not?

Readings 4: Copyright and Creativity

Copyright vs. Creativity, when does creativity cross the line in the copyright world? When does it become wrong? This is such a huge topic, one that all artists need to be made well aware of. There are so many grey areas. In the article The Generation Divide in Copyright Morality the author brings our attention to the problem at large. “Everyone,” (the majority of 20 and 30 year olds) struggle with the moral issues of using ones work to create more work. He asks people in different generations the same questions based off of whether you thought it was right or wrong. He asked those in his audience to raise their hands if they though a scenario was wrong. Those in the “everyone” group raised their hands a lot more often than those in the younger group. This shows us that the younger generations are having no problem with the moral issue at hand. They have no problem using others work. They do not think it is wrong to take and copy a DVD for their own collections. (but it is) It is taking someone elses work, without payment of it.  Non the less, stealing it. You fear punishment if you were to take an item out of a clothing store, would you not?  So why do some people not fear taking, or copying, work from online? Is it because no one is physically watching them? Or because it is just too simple to do?

The music industry changed drastically after music was being shared and copied online without payment for it. Thanks to Napster you could download music in seconds without paying for it. I think Napster is a huge reason as to why there are so many copyright laws now. After that fiasco ended, everyone covered their behinds. In the article In Defense of Piracy Mrs. Lenz’s video of her 13 month old son had to be taken down from YouTube because Prince’s song was featured in it with out Prince’s permission. Are you serious? The way I see it is, Mrs Lenz was using YouTube as a way to spread her family video to other family members. She wasn’t making money off of it so why was it so bad? This might not have anything to do with this weeks topic but I couldn’t help but think about censorship. Ok, Mrs Lenz’s video did have Prince’s song in it, but someone in a higher position than her made her take it down. Our country and our laws could be so misconstrued sometimes. What else are we going to be told we can and can not do? Maybe that’s a little far out there to think, but it was one of the thoughts that came to my mind.

Another point I found interesting, was “We don’t focus on the creators, we focus on the pirates.” My boss at my job likes to tell me “Kristin, we don’t find fault, we find solutions.” I know it’s not the same thing but they are both touching on the positive versus the negative. People focus so much on whose fault it is, or who is doing something wrong, that we are missing the beauty in the artists work. We aren’t getting to appreciate people work because everyone is afraid of whether or not they are committing copyright crimes. If it’s not original work then it can’t be credited as creative work? Every artist and designer get inspired in different ways. Shouldn’t the original artists [i.e. Prince] be flattered that their work is influencing new artists creations? If I were Prince I would be so excited to know that my song is making a 13 month old dance. I would be happy that my work was still  making a difference in people’s lives. Mrs. Lenz will always have that memory of her son and that memory will always be connected to Prince’s song.

In the video by Lawrence Lessig, he touched on the fact that the internet is how our kids talk. This is how they create. They know no other way then using resources from the internet. Every time you use a source from the internet and you don’t cite it properly it is copyright infringement. So are our kids committing crime every single time they make something?

And finally, Amanda Palmer…WOW! I never heard of her until this class but the video we had to watch gave me goose bumps! It was so touching and so moving. It made me want to become a fan of her music and support her work. It mad me feel exactly how she wants people to feel. Her main point was, if you connect with people, people are more likely to support and help you. They won’t feel obligated to BUY your work but instead they will WANT TO pay for it.  I really liked the question she asked at the end. Instead of asking, “How do we make people pay for music?” We should be asking, “How do we LET people pay for music”. It is a great question! Instead of putting all of these constraints on people, if you can connect with people they will feel like they should be paying for your work. If you make connections with people they will feel close to you, as if they know you. I really think that Amanda Palmer has something here. More artists should listen to what she has to say.


My questions are in my response..

1. You fear punishment if you were to take an item out of a clothing store, would you not?  So why do some people not fear taking, or copying, work from online? Is it because no one is physically watching them? Or because it is just too simple to do?

2. Our country and our laws could be so misconstrued sometimes. What else are we going to be told we can and can not do?

3.If you were an artist and someone used your work to make new art would you be upset? or flattered?

4. What do you think is going to happen when our kids are the “Everyone” group? Do you think somewhere, someway they will get morally better or morally worse?

5. I personally think Amanda Palmer is on to something. If you were a musician what is one way that you would let people purchase your music?