Digital Connections

Surveillance post 1 –
Being connected through digital interfaces has had massive effects upon our personal information and how it is regulated, shared, and protected. A recent news story that exemplifies this comes from Wichita, Kansas; and how the recent vehicle surveillance program that city officials have put into place has brought concern to some citizens. In 2020, the Wichita Police Department created the Flock Safety surveillance system; a database that scans, records, stores, and tracks license plates. Even further; the data that Flock collects is then shared with 93 other policing departments; including those from other states. This already provides a series of privacy concerns as well as concerns over unlawful policing; but these get even more serious when it becomes known that the City of Wichita holds no responsibility over either how other municipalities and entities use the data that Flock collects; even if it is unlawful and unnecessary license plate searches and tracking. In the text, Lindgren states: “,…the key technologies of digital society, have in any case hugely transformed the conditions for mediated communication between people.” In the case of Flock; this quote highlights how the digital landscape has seriously widened the gap between the power of police and government institutions and how they are held to the ethics and standards they are supposed to be held to. Flock exemplifies one of two major times this has happened: the 2020 BLM movement. During the height of protests in the summer of 2020; individual citizens who attended or sometimes even just spoke in support of protests; were tracked down by unmarked police squads and jailed often just to be let go with no charges the next morning. This violates so many fundamental ethical codes that US police departments are supposed to adhere to; but the digital footprints that every citizen leaves even when just exercising their rights; can be hijacked by elite powers with little to no oversight. The other time that this ocurred was post 9/11 America; in which the PATRIOT Act and the proceeding Middle Eastern occupations became reliant on digitally circumventing both American citizens rights to privacy; but also the privacy and safety of citizens abroad.

Surveillance post 2 –
This day and age everything you do on your phone, computer, or electronic device connected to the internet, is monitored and recorded. As long as you have one of these devices around, you are being tracked. This is used for many different purposes. Some of these include homeland security, market research, targeted advertising, etc. Although most of these original intentions seem ok and harmless, having this information open and available to steal is more of a liability than a helper. For example, these devices, and sites are recording and saving all your information from email, to phone number, to what you buy, sell, where you travel, etc., and will even profit off of it.

Attached is a website that contains a list of top 10 data breaches that have happened so far in 2022. Some examples on the list are, Red Cross, Cash App etc. Looking at one specifically, Cash App had a leak which leaked names, account numbers, stock trade information and many other forms of private information. Having information and data like this on these sites can be very beneficial and has many pros, but has the big risk of the potential of getting leaked. 

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