You are being watched. As recently as a few years ago, sentiment like this would sound like the cliché of someone suffering from paranoia. As of now, though, it’s frankly reasonable to point out that unless you really are hiding in isolation, someone is “looking” at you.
Now that nearly all facets of our lives are online, our current concept of privacy is in flux. Which parts of our digital behavior trail can be tracked, sold, acted upon, or even exploited? It obviously happens all the time: advertising begins to cater to our prior consumer preferences, and various forms of media and content start appearing in such specificity to our tastes and history that it’s very clearly being manipulated. “Cybersecurity” is a term we all know and yet know nothing about; our engagement in online systems has far surpassed our understanding of them. Considering the stakes, this knowledge gap seems highly problematic and strangely left alone in modern discourse. Whether it’s the media we consume, the conversations we’re having, or the information we are entering into various spaces on our screens, it’s time to start asking: who’s watching, and what can they see?
Rain Taxi’s reviews related to online media, surveillance, and the Internet:
Review by Jim Feast of The Soft Cage by Christian Parenti (Spring 2004, Online)
Review by Nicole Duclos of Neurosphere by Donald P. Dulchinos (Spring 2006, Online)
Review by Weston Cutter of Mediated by Thomas de Zengotita (Summer 2005, Online)