What Am I Providing?

I am choosing to start my 24 hours for this assignment at 7:54 p.m. on January 27th so my times will be in line with that.

8:00 p.m.: I opened up Canvas with tabs for all three of my courses and began working on the extra credit assignment for this course. I chose an article titled “Why You Should Take a Close Look at What Tracks You” and it was quite interesting to read about how big companies took advantage of loopholes in order to not provide tracking information to consumers. I will say though, the most interesting part of the article was all the way at the bottom where they stated verbatim:

Like other media companies, The Times collects data on its visitors when they read stories like this one. For more detail please see our privacy policy and our publisher’s description of The Times’s practices and continued steps to increase transparency and protections.

I found this quite ironic because the article just discussed how companies ignore privacy policies and laws, yet here they are trying to assure me they can be trusted with my information. Clearly, after reading this it isn’t hard to tell that viewing this page will absolutely cause companies to push articles relevant to the top of my search bar. I got a good chuckle out of it though.

9:00 p.m.: After finishing my extra credit assignment I decided I wanted some drinks and snacks so my boyfriend and I headed to Dollar General. On the drive there we didn’t listen to anything and we just talked, so no media there. I suppose though if I’ve somehow accidentally allowed a media to track my location even when I’m not in the app it could give me ads around Dollar General or give me ads based on the location of the Dollar General I went to.

10:00 p.m.: It was about an hour round trip so we got back home at about ten and went back to bed with our newly acquired treats. We laid down, opened up our individual TikToks, and watched videos on our own while occasionally showing the other a funny or interesting video along the way. As we all know, TikTok’s algorithm is all about tracking what we like, where we are, and what we do. TikTok tracks my race, age, gender, IP address, search history, and interests so it offers me videos based on that and stores my data to offer better videos to other people in a similar schema as me.

11:00 p.m.: This final hour is a bit of a blur since I’m not sure exactly when I went to bed but I know I turned off my phone, said goodnight to my partner and laid down until I eventually drifted to sleep.

12:00 p.m. 6:00 a.m.: Sleepy time

6:00 a.m.: At this ungodly time in the morning I woke up to bring my little sister to work. After I dropped her off I turned on Spotify in the car to listen to a podcast. When it comes to what Spotify tracks, I know that they track my email address, postal code, country, voice data, and personal data such as what songs I listen to and my playlists (how else will I get my Spotify wrapped?). I then drove home.

7:00 a.m.: I arrived back a little after seven and after a little tossing and turning I managed to fall back asleep for just a bit longer.

9:00 a.m.: I woke back up at around nine and I was fully awake by 9:20 because I was back on my phone watching TikToks to unwind. I think the only difference between this time using TikTok and using it before bed is that it continues to give the app information about my behaviors based on what time I open it up.

10:00 a.m.: The night before my boyfriend and I had planned to go to our local coffee shop in the morning so after rotting away in bed for a little I got up and got ready to leave by 10:30 a.m. We hopped in my car and once again didn’t listen to anything, but instead talked the whole way there.

11:00 a.m.: We arrived at the coffee shop, ordered our drinks/food, and then sat down at one of the seats for a while and talked. While we were sitting there I opened up the lovely little app Pokemon GO and completed a couple of tasks. Pokemon GO is one of those apps that I have exclusively given the right to track my movements because it aids in accomplishments in the game by using the health app. So, I know it tracks how many steps I’ve taken, the distance traveled, and where I have gone to. I also know the app creator, Niantic, shares my data anonymously with third parties for industry and market analysis. They require permission to share personal data, or so they say. Either way, the app is super fun and I don’t really mind.

1:00 p.m.: After we sat at the shop for about an hour we decided to go test drive some cars because my boyfriend is looking at buying a new one, so we headed to the Hyundai dealership nearby. I did not open any media apps while I was here, but location tracking has for sure given me more car ads than usual, especially since in the car ride back home I had my boyfriend looking up prices, specs and other information about the cars we looked at and other cars we found interesting.

3:00 p.m.: We arrived back home at around 3:30 and we got ourselves some more food and as I ate I watched some YouTube videos as I usually do. Now YouTube is run by Google and as we all know they track just about everything they can get their hands on. They have my Google account, phone number, documents I’ve saved, my device type, operating system, my activity within my apps such as,

  • terms I’ve searched
  • videos I’ve watched
  • purchase activity
  • voice and audio information
  • activity on third-party sites
  • browsing history

The list can go on and on, but yeah Google takes everything and stores all of it. Now, I couldn’t tell you where I signed to allow all of it, but I’ve had the same email since I was like 12 and I’m not going to be changing it now so it is just a fact of the matter.

4:00 p.m.: For the next couple hours my solo YouTube watching went into a duo task as my boyfriend and I went to our room to watch some videos together. I texted some friends during this about my test drive and how it went.

6:00 p.m.: We didn’t make an official dinner since we had a late start to the day and therefore a late lunch.

8:00 p.m. To end off this 24-hour period my boyfriend snagged some ice cream from the freezer right down the hall and I sipped on some drinks we got the night before as we continued to watch YouTube.

In conclusion, I would say that I don’t use a lot of media. Two days and the only things I used were Canvas, Pokemon GO, YouTube and TikTok, but despite only having a few sources that could track my data two of those are HUGE tracking companies that take and store a bunch of my information. I think that YouTube (Google) is absolutely the worst of them all, but I think at this point I am so far down the rabbit hole that there is no going back and to be honest, I don’t really mind it. I think its important to know how your data is tracked, but as long as it isn’t being used to oppress me I think it is scummy of them to take, but fine at the moment. I do also think I come from a place of privilege by saying that, but I recognize that privilege and don’t assume the same for others.

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