Reading Responses · Uncategorized

Censoring the Sensors

In the article The Googlization of Us, we are all contributors to social media. The article talks about how we have the choice of letting our profile have less privacy settings making it easier for advertisement pop up to target us as we are updating our social media. The article continued to mention the different ways we are able to customize our profile settings of who can view our information and who can look us up by typing our name into the search bar on Google’s Webpage. “Googlilization of everything entails the harvesting, copying, aggregating, and ranking of information about and contributions made by each of us” (Vaidhyanathan, S. (2011).).

The article also touched base on how my generation feels compelled to exploit our desire to constantly update our statuses and snap chat stories by posting what we think is important, such as what we are eating during a meal or posting a video of something we think maybe out of the ordinary, for example, the other day I was sitting outside on campus and almost every person had their phone out while they were walking to their next location. They either were taking selfies, texting, or video recording a family riding unicycles around campus.

This article was very relatable to my life because all I could think about were the different social media apps I have downloaded on my phone and if my privacy settings are really helping me keep certain things private from people that I do not want others to see what I post. It all makes sense of how every time I log onto Google and I begin to type in the search bar, it is really odd how Google tries to complete what I am searching for. “Google makes its money by using our profiles to present us with advertisements keyed to the words we search, precision is its goal.” (Vaidhyanathan, S. (2011).). It is like Google is reading my mind, and they try to customize my search results to narrow the results to my interests to have me more likely to click on a link. Which then Google will store my search results and use that as data.

But when did I consent to them allowing me to be included into them collecting this data. I had no idea that Google’s privacy policy is more of a lack of privacy policy. I now understand after reading this article of why I need to actually read the Terms of Service Agreement Policy, instead of just scrolling down and clicking I accept.

The article also includes two types of users that Google has. One is known as “power users”, like myself who has a Gmail account and frequently use Google Docs. Being a “power user” Google is able to customize my search results where they can analyze my search result patterns, which then generates Google money. And everything always relates to money. If Google were “to give up such data could reduce the company’s chief competitive advantage” (Vaidhyanathan, S. (2011)).

The article presented both the pros and cons of having Google have the access to track our searches. I agree with many of the benefits of allowing Google to be able to tract my keystrokes. However, it get s very creepy really fast when I am not in my navigation app and I get a notification about the traffic flow and the estimated time it will take me to get to campus. I had not even asked for directions to drive from my house to George Mason University.

The other article I chose to read and write about is Defining the Sensor Society. When I first read the article I wasn’t sure what type of sensor it was talking about. So I had to look up the different types of sensors and censors. A censor is something that monitors something else where as a sensor normally means it will detect an intense change.

The article provided a brief summary of the Ford Motor Company and how they company is able to tell if you are a good driver or not by using your GPS to be able to tell what the driver is doing. Every time you start your car and the GPS screen will not allow you to access the map setting without pressing the “I accept” button. This related to the previous article of every time you create a new account and you have to accept the service terms agreement. Which in my opinion is the fastest and biggest lie my generation does. (Andrejevic, M., & Burdon, M. (2015)).

I had to look up what the words “Diachronic and Omniscience” the results I found were: Diachronic: concerned with the way in which something especially language has developed and evolved through time. And Omniscience: the state of knowing everything. I found those definitions interesting because my generation is full of hot air and always think that they know everything because they say it on Instagram or other social media apps. Of course it is true if it is online, is the mindset that many of my peers have. However, this article explains that the data is collected the “sensors accumulate information to help model the future, but also to mine the past.” (Andrejevic, M., & Burdon, M. (2015)).

I made a connection to this article when it talked about Auto Insurance companies offering rebates by using boxes that will monitor your driving habits to give you a discounted rate. (Andrejevic, M., & Burdon, M. (2015)).This article also touched base on talking about phone locations that track your every move and can listening in on your conversations by granting the phone company access to your camera, microphone, and location. I know that iPhone Location settings will track your travel time and how long you spend at particular locations. Which is very scary if someone were to hack into iPhone they would be able to access my every move and be able to stalk me.

I agree with the statement that our society is a “sensor society”. I agree because just about everyone in my generation has at least one if not multiple interactive devices that has applications that are also tracking and logging our data to make their profit, such as the Googlization article.

Our lovely smart phones have provided the rise of sensors. Our society is becoming so interconnected with one another and we are also getting more disconnected with one another because there has been a decrease in social skills that future generations need to develop, but when it comes down to it in our society parents will do anything that will save them and looks of judgment by others in the community. It is so easy to entertain our children by providing them with a smart phone, tablet, or putting them in front of the television so the parents can get daily tasks done with out actually being a true parent. Technology is starting to take over the role of parenting because of its convenience.

I felt that both of these articles coincided with each other because they both mentioned about social media, privacy, and surveillance. The articles also complemented each other by providing similar examples of how our society provides outputs for sensor to generate data about what we are doing and when we are doing it. “Sensors can also include any device the automatically captures and records data that can then be transmitted, stored, and analyzed.” (Andrejevic, M., & Burdon, M. (2015). This made me think of how every time I post something online I am creating a carbon footprint, which can later bite me in the ass with future employers.

The article said, “Individual targets are treated as pieces of a puzzle. All of them must be included for the puzzle to be complete” (Andrejevic, M., & Burdon, M. (2015). This quote made me think of when I was at Radford University I was in a sorority that was well known for partying. I actually was denied a teaching position because my Instagram, which I thought my privacy settings were locked down, I was wrong. The daycare I applied for would not hire me because they found photos of me drinking under age and doing very immature things.


Andrejevic, M., & Burdon, M. (2015). Defining the Sensor Society. Television & New Media. Retrieved April 21, 2017.


Vaidhyanathan, S. (2011). The Googlization of Us. The Googlization of Everything. Retrieved April 21, 2017.


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