Class 8: Identity and Privacy

This is just a copy of of the Professor Jones powerpoint text to use as a reference/guideline, add any notes or links you may have that elaborates on his points for each heading.

Identity and Privacy

• Mass media - mass audience - isolating perhaps but private
• New media - emphasis on data structure, processing and content manipulation allows for individual expression - but also individual tracking

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Trust Survey

• City TV, Toronto Star, CNN, Daily Show/Colbert Report, BBC most consulted sources
• Daily Show most trusted of above (!), then City, Star, Colbert, BBC,CNN
• Friends/family trusted source
• Only 4 hours/week on news/information average (!)

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Identity and Media

• Mass media - identity constructed in consumer terms, often vague
• Niche media - a bit more structured but also certain identities privileged over others - e.g., 500 channel universe

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Media Stereotyping

• Ethnic/visible minorities
• (White Male) People of Privilege
• Aboriginal peoples
• Girls and Women
• Gays/Lesbians
http://www.media-awareness.ca/english/issues/stereotyping/index.cfm

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Activity

• What types of stereotypes exist in media portrayal of these groups?
• How do stereotypes influence media representation?
• Examples of stereotype change - how, why?

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Identity and New Media

• Possibility for identity construction and identity play (Turkle)
• Creates perception of anonymity (but only perception?) where cues invoking stereotypes can be muted

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But…

• Stereotypical representations still common
• Gender stereotypes in video games (similar to comics - Lara Croft ex.)
• Stereotype play in online chat examples

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Privacy and Surveillance

• Individuated transactions can be and are monitored - new media make surveillance more efficient
• Enforcement haphazard - both panopticon effect and simple logistics
• Not just government but corporate - workplace surveillance and rights of workers to associate

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Ex: face recognition analysis

• Technologies to scan and detect faces in a crowd
• Preliminary systems already exist - potential uses in analysis of closed-circuit surveillance, forensic science, military/intelligence

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Problems

• Abuse - who controls information? For what purposes is it collected?
• Cross-referencing - links to biometrics? Banking data? Advertising?
• Voyeurism from afar - violation of shared norms of public spaces
• False sense of security - not “needle in haystack” technology, false positives, probability of loopholes

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Privacy and 9/11

• American reaction to 9/11 swift and disturbing - USA Patriot Act, Military Commissions Act
• Surveillance of communication and artefact alike; combined with secrecy in name of national security
• USA and UK now rank near bottom on privacy and surveillance issues: http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd[347]=x-347-545269

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