When Selfies Become Surveillance Beacons

Publication Type: 
Other Writing
Publication Date: 
May 4, 2016

Few things repre­sent the age of social media better than posting a selfie. We share these ubiq­ui­tous self-portraits with such an urgency you’d think we’d cease to exist if we stopped producing them at a rapid and ongoing rate. Think about taking a trip to a gorgeous loca­tion. If you exer­cise “selfie-control” and don’t post a picture of your­self at a place like the beach, did the exquisite voyage really happen? 

Selfies have become a cultural obses­sion for many reasons. They’re fun. They’re easy to share. They’re self-refer­en­tial. And, they’re mostly harm­less. There is a hitch though, and it’s that every time we dissem­i­nate a selfie, we make it possible for a new crop of surveil­lance tech­nolo­gies to track us.

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