Other: Part 1. This comic is a quick overview of what surveillance means and how we can’t avoid interacting with it.
The killer is, there’s no ‘off the grid’. That step where they compare you against norms and patterns? (4: analysis and response), well, that’s where when you’re something weird, or unexpected, you get flagged for further scrutiny. You can’t disengage from all our surveillance systems without it looking weird, and once it looks weird, you’re right back in the system, tagged as ‘weird’ somewhere for someone to look up one day.
Now, not all surveillance is bad. Public health does a lot of surveillance, and when it’s done ethically, they’re trying to track health issues and implement plans that make our communities safer. And some of it is a trade off: want to vote? there has to be some way of keeping track of registered voters, so that’s just part of a democratic process.
But it’s happening. every organized system you are part of is gathering and storing information on you. Heck, even your volunteer position has your name and number and emergency contact somewhere, doesn’t it?
And the bar for understanding and reacting to this is so fucking high, it’s essentially impossible for people who haven’t made a whole career out of understanding it. No one understand what Apple’s ToS means as a whole, and so when we click ‘ok’, what are we really consenting to? Is that even consent?
Tune in shortly for the next installment: Classification, You, and Everyone Else!