Misperceived Privacy

This is something that I have noticed more often this year. If I spend a certain amount of time on particular websites advertisements from that same website pop up everywhere. At first I thought it was a coincidence, I mean I can’t be the only one who enjoys Alex and Ani bracelets right?

After a while I began to realize that these advertisements were based on websites that I personally have been visiting. I understand that it has become extremely difficult for advertisers to make profit in this digital age, but take it easy. It was more of a nuisance than a concern  until the day I was sitting in class and decided to veer to Facebook and found bra ads everywhere. Yes, I am a female and yes I purchase brassieres, BUT not Surveillance_cameraseveryone who sits behind or besides me in my class needs to know this.

Apparently I am not the only one who feels this way. In a reading  “A Contemporary Portrait of Information Privacy: Collective Communicative Consequences of Being Digital” Preston Russett discusses a man who discussed erectile discussion in a personal e-mail and was suddenly bombarded with Viagra advertisements.

Is it really right that “any activities, movements, calls, and clicks, can be, and are being monitored, recorded, and harbored for analysis” (41)? The worst part is that most people don’t even realize it is happening. One used to be able to turn off the lights in their own home and retire to the bedroom and do whatever they wanted on their computer without having to worry about the judgements of others.

It is understandable that due to events in the past decade there is need for increased security, but when we are being the targets for advertisements, that is not a safety concern. I used to hear about every time you say a certain word on the phone the government will start listening in, but apparently now they are listening to Calif-Governor-Brown-Signs-Laws-to-Protect-Privacy-for-Social-Media-Userseveryone all the time. Although, I don’t actually know because they aren’t telling us. I used to not think much of it because hey, if you want to listen to me talk about Bebe’s latest fashion trends or what my mom is making for thanksgiving fine, but when it comes to more personal matters we should not be exploited.

We can’t do much of anything today without being watched…It really is creepy if you spend enough time thinking about it. I’m not saying that we all have something to hide all the time, we just don’t want every single thing we do to be analyzed and over analyzed. I want to tell myself that I flattered that everyone wants to watch me but now I’m just becoming increasingly paranoid.

-J

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