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?




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