This is Part 5 of the Other Series – the last chapter! Are there any conclusions? Not really!
The whole point of this comic when I first developed it, and of this series as I’ve adapted it here, is not to provide solutions, but to explore options. There isn’t a way to be perfectly represented in information systems. There also isn’t a way to opt out of systems we don’t want to be part of. CSIS is tracking you no matter how much you try to avoid it, as is Walmart.
The whole point is that it’s a constant negotiation – a give and take of information for services, and services for information. We make decisions about how we identify ourselves every single day, from the moment we wake up. These information systems are as part of our every day lives as putting on clothes.
My goal is 1) Be aware of the fact that information is being gathered and analyzed, 2) Be aware of opportunities to shape, clarify, or queer that information (and the consequences thereof), and 3) Be active in opportunities to to limit how information systems can influence our lives (glares in C-51′s direction).
And for people like me, who define and design information architecture, to always consider users first in what we require from them, how we’re storing their information, and how that information will be used. Always, always give as much control to the user as possible.
So, that’s the whole series. I had a lot of fun writing it when I first made it, and I’ve enjoyed revisiting it here. It’s a subject I care a lot about and think a lot about, and I hope that maybe this has been an interesting introduction into the category of Other for some of you.
Thanks for your indulgence – back to regular programming next week!
Would you like some more resources on this stuff, including other perspectives and contrasting opinions? Here are some links!
Want to learn more about legislative efforts to compromise citizen privacy? This is a great paper written for non-crypto experts!
Keys under doormats
Queering surveillance Research – David Phillips (google books excerpt)