Surveillance Techniques Of New Technologies Demand Rethinking Of Online Behaviour

1217 words - 5 pages

Daily usage of the new media technologies like updating our Facebook profile over the internet offer a vast set of opportunities, which are already integrated into our life, but nevertheless the services of these technologies require to expose information about ourself, which are sent over unknown data highways, cached and stored in diverse memory locations and, most of all, read and transferred by many unknown connection points. We are not fully aware of what happens until our data are saved at the desired location, neither do we know what happens with our data. Usage of new media technologies in a careless and unaware fashion is equal to giving away the power over informations about ourselves and therefore makes us an easy subject to surveillance through higher instances like the government or companies, but will not lead to a total controlled internet and rather forces us to revise our online usage habits.
First of all internet users are very liable to give away private information about themselves for example on social network sites, but also about other people without asking for their permission. Consequently surveillance is not only supported but also simplified by the targets themselves. Posting informations about our life happens either in a case where we do not care about the consequences or where we are not aware of them. For example attaching a current GPS location to your Facebook status indicates not only where you are, but also where you are not. Person do not consider and therefore not care about the consequences, but this location information can be exploited by housebreakers, if you are not at home. Second you are unaware of what happens with your data. Since web services like Google Search Engine are no open source projects, where specialists can analyse, what happens with your search requests, you will never know, what else is done with your data. According to Allmer, this is one essential condition for surveillance technology: “the controllers know the codes of the network, the controlled do not” (cited in Allmer). In the case of Google Search one additional use of your data gets obvious if you look at the search result: beside getting a list of hits for your entered keywords, there are also adverts related to your current search added to the page. Wall explains this circumstance more precisely: “Most internet users are not yet aware of the transparency of their actions and the volume of surveillance ‘traffic’ data they currently generate in their Internet transactions” (Wall 344). Social networking sites and other platforms appeal to the user's “will to production” (cited in Spurgeon 8) in order to convince them to join their network and consequently making them victims of their surveillance. But moreover, sidestepping new media technologies can not protect your privacy completely, since friends could talk about you, post pictures of you and document your life as well, without having to ask you for permission. Note that...

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