Algorithmic Control III: Privacy, Surveillance, and the Price of Content

This week’s lecture really got me thinking about the times I’ve seen ads that were somehow being shown to me but I hadn’t gone looking for them. They were simply items that I had talked about to friends or family. This is clearly an example of some sort of surveillance. It may not be a camera recording me, but my phone was listening to me.

The most recent advertisement I had targeted to me was a Betty Crocker ad. Minutes before I saw the ad, I had been talking to a friend on FaceTime and somehow the name Betty Crocker was mentioned. The ad was for a brownie mix. I have only ever made brownies once because personally I prefer cookies, but it was such a strange experience.

To give you further information, I don’t follow any Instagram or Facebook pages designed to showcase cooking or baking. I mainly follow friends, influencers, celebrities and makeup companies so to receive an ad for a brownie mix was extremely strange considering I mentioned the name minutes prior.

While writing this post, I saw an ad for furniture. 33 minutes before this ad, I had tweeted about receiving the keys to my new house and being excited to design my new bedroom.

To me it’s scary to think that my phone could be monitoring or listening to me.

Tell me about any of your experiences where you have felt you were being surveilled?


3 thoughts on “Algorithmic Control III: Privacy, Surveillance, and the Price of Content

  1. Good, simplified content in regards to a response! Definitely love hoe you incoperated personal experiences with visual content, made it incredibely easy to follow along as well as stay interested! You could maybe improve by stating how you think the process unravels E.g cookies. Loved it !


  2. Your blog was especially helpful when writing my own, as i was abit lost at what to write about, but your idea inspired me to write about my own experience with targeted advertisements. Overall really cool post!


  3. Hey Olivia, great explanation of this week’s topic!
    It’s pretty scary how we are constantly being watched and targeted. It’s like have a legal stalker hahah. Since quarantine started I have been getting so many ads for clothes shops because of my new online shopping addiction. Back to this week, I was super interested in surveillance and how China looks like it will become a black-mirror episode (BTW check it out, super crazy It’s amazing that media is allowed to influence our decisions by constantly collecting data of us. Would love to know your thoughts!
    Again great work Olivia, love your cute aesthetic!


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