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Being monitored everywhere and at all times: “so what? "

Today we suggest a discussion and a demonstration of the fact that we are being watched by the technology that is in our pockets.

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Today we suggest a discussion and a demonstration of the fact that we are being watched by the technology that is in our pockets.

Recently, a debate took place around the attitude of young people in high school to the fact that we are watched everywhere and at all times because of technology. According to Devoir journalist Marie-Michèle Sioui, young people do not have the same relationship with surveillance as their parents and teachers. They don't even care, apparently.

His article, titled "1984" no longer scares young people, has caused a lot of reaction since its publication in Le Devoir on December 17, 2016. He notably brought the columnist Christian Rioux out of his hinges, who took offense of the lack of culture that would prevail in the classroom of teacher Jocelyn Lapointe. A reaction considered excessive by many commentators.


Take the test with your students

What if we discussed it directly with young people? Here are some ideas.

Ask them first, "Would you mind having an electronic gadget implanted under your skin that would keep track of wherever you go?" This is a question you could start a conversation with with a group of students, in a high school class, for example.

The answers obtained would most likely be varied.

We could continue:

- And do you think it's science fiction? Will this happen during your lifetime?

- No? Why?


A stunning demonstration

The conversation could continue with a demonstration, the effect of which is usually spectacular.

- Does anyone in the class have an iPhone? Could he bring it to me and give me access to it (unlock it)?

At this moment, by doing some very simple manipulations that will only take a few seconds (see below), it will become possible to display on the iPhone screen a map of the region where you are located, on which all will be identified. places regularly frequented by the pupil: his home, school, his best friend's house, perhaps his workplace, etc. And for each of these places, a list of the dates and times of arrival and departure over the past few weeks.

For most adults, this is a staggering discovery. And for several young people too, by the way.

- So you didn't want the flea under your skin? And yet, do you purposely put your iPhone in your pocket every morning? Why is that?

- Did you know that your iPhone keeps track of all your movements and that I can access it so easily?

- Why does the iPhone keep this information, do you think?

- Will you turn off this feature now that you know it? Why?


Sowing the start of critical reflection

Marie-Michèle Sioui reported in her article that Jocelyn Lapointe's students told her last year: “We are tired of being told that we are being watched all the time. We don't give a fuck. What if we're happy like that, us? "

The idea of the proposed conversation is therefore not so much to determine whether this form of surveillance is acceptable or not. It is rather to sow, through and this very concrete example, the beginning of a critical reflection on a phenomenon determining for the evolution of our society.

What about me, did I turn off this location feature on my iPhone? No. Am I sure I will never do it? No more. I'm still thinking about it ...

And you, will you deactivate it? Why?




lieux-frequentsHow to display the map of frequent locations on an iPhone:

  1. Access Settings
  2. Click on Confidentiality
  3. Click on Location Services
  4. Completely at the bottom of the list, click on System services
  5. At the bottom of the first list of items, click on Frequent locations
  6. In the history, click on the name of the city where you are.

For example, in my case, for Quebec, my iPhone identified 21 frequent locations, and for each of them, I can have access to the log of my trips. Yes, as easily as that ...

A similar demonstration can also be done from an Android device.


* * *

Have you tried the experiment? Do not hesitate to tell us about it using the comments form further down on this page!

About the Author

Clément Laberge
Clement Labergehttp://www.remolino.qc.ca
A graduate in high school science education, Clément is the co-founder of Infobourg, the website now called L'École branchée.

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