E3J1: THE CIRCLE, BOOK TWO
In a recent book called The Soft Cage, historian Christian Parenti traces the history of surveillance from tracking slaves to a vast array of new tracking technologies from E-Z Pass, fingerprints, and cell phone GPS to ATMs, computer cookies, and automobile black boxes. He genuinely fears the increasing encroachment on privacy. Characters in The Circle encounter just such surveillance technologies. Some characters like Mae Holland embrace the surveillance and others like her parents reject it. Discuss your impression of Mae’s rise to success as she accepts increasing transparency in her life. How much surveillance is too much? Do you know who has information about you and what that information might be? Is the alleged security afforded by these technologies worth sacrificing your privacy and personal life? Are these technologies protecting us? Are they a means to sell you more products? Are they a means to control your behavior and thoughts should they upset certain powerful people or groups? What does all this surveillance suggest about the future of our private identity? Give this journal entry serious thought because the realities of surveillance are more intense than you might imagine.