1. Randall Packer

    Giving up Your Data

    I live in Washington, DC, the nation’s capital, where I refer to my studio as my underground studio bunker. I take a certain pride in the private nature of my space, though perilously close to the high-surveillance residence just a few blocks down the street where the Vice-President of the United States lives at the Naval Observatory. And yet, my house is in full view of anyone and everyone. Not just my house, but my car as well, parked in front. In the 21st century era of Google Street View and its stealth-mapping capabilities, nothing is private. All you need is someone’s physical address, and that takes very little investigation on the Net. Probe deeper into Google Maps and you discover there is a wealth of information about my residence that has been assembled for the world to see. The notion that you could live a secret life under the radar is a thing of the past. The possibility of seeking out an anonymous log cabin a la the unabomber would be fruitless in today’s mediascape where Google cameras are roaming the streets tracking, mapping, and surveilling everything in their path. Atop the Google Street view vehicle is a special multi-camera that snaps photographs from all angles and stores them into a database that staggers the imagination. Essentially, Google’s mission is to map every square inch of the world: systematically and repeatedly. Returning to my small plot of land in the Google Universe, you can continue to probe into the […]
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