In this assignment, I chose to explore the Do Not Track interactive documentary. Speaking of which, I really enjoyed the idea of the episodes to be interactive and display our answers while explaining a certain issue. It is something I really enjoyed doing and encouraged me to keep watching and concentrate.
I started by watching the first episode of the documentary: The Morning Ritual. It discussed the idea of how frequently someone gets to share their personal information on a day to day basis when “no one forced them to”. However, this information is key to forming a database about every person using companies like advertising agencies that sell this information to worldwide organizations for billions of dollars. The second thing I learned was the meaning of cookies that we usually accept without second guessing what they might be. As an internet user, I usually perceive cookies as ads that I wanna skip to view what is next. I am not aware of the consequences and I was surprised to know that everytime I click I am giving someone the consent to keep knowing more about me.
By knowing the cons of being impatient and having the urge to accept cookies to view more information about me, I think I have already done enough damage to myself and agreed to have numerous files on my computer that I do not know of. In that regard, I think I should be more careful and give myself the chance in order to better understand my surrounding and finally defy the trackers as much as possible,
Also, I really enjoyed listening to the part when they said that even if tracking agencies attempt to help you by suggesting content you may like to see, this will never be accurate for several reasons. A speaker mentioned the idea of having the perfect identity on social media and our tendency to always hide the tough times and share our struggles on a regular basis. As a result, trackers will use the information I share to make my life seem “perfect” and would not necessarily relate to who I truly am.
The second episode I watched continued discussing the mishaps of cookies and how they have been the target of many advertising agencies to sell information to other worldwide organizations. In this episode, they started mentioning names of agencies such as Double Click being targeted by worldwide organizations like Facebook, Google and Twitter since 2013. I was also surprised to see the attention of such organizations escalate significantly across the years through a graph presented in the episode.
Also, It was very interesting when I was asked how much I was willing to pay so no one tracks me. I wrote 10$ and was surprised to know that Google earns 45$ from me only. It got me thinking if tracking could be such an important base for the internet economy, why would they stop? I also started thinking about politics and what important figures of the country to avoid the damage of being tracked which would be much more dangerous than my own.
However, I was happy to see a list of recommendations at the beginning of the episode that help people who would not like being tracked avoid cookies. I felt that this could help me implement those actions on a day to day basis and benefit from the episode. In that regard, I like the fact that the documentary is not meant to make you feel “scared”, it is rather a platform that addresses the helpless users like myself who do not like the situation but have no idea what to do about it.