Who’s Watching?

By Yuhan Zhu

My infompoem is a model done after I went through the last month of using a smoking cessation app and collecting data on the ads he recommended and integrating them to categorize the connection with me. Where once I always pondered why these apps knew me so well, now I can’t help but start thinking about the purpose behind it. It makes us think about the security of mobile software, and whether our privacy is really private. How many invisible cameras are watching and recording us? And in what way will our data be used for their benefit?

Featured image of the project Who’s Watching? Complementary image of the project Who’s Watching? Complementary image of the project Who’s Watching? Complementary image of the project Who’s Watching?

Metaphor used:

Monitor: the collection of big data is like monitors after another monitoring the user's behavior. It makes the user think that the cell phone is a private space for him/her, but in reality there is no privacy to speak of. Marionette: The user and the phone are like a manipulated puppet, manipulated by the collectors behind it. Some app recommendations are given according to the user's habits. It seems to be for the user's preference, but in reality it is not manipulating the user's thinking orientation.

Intended Meaning:

Although this is a health app that advocates users to record daily, but through the analysis of personal data records, it pushes an average of one advertisement for every 1.58 cigarettes smoked, and 82% of the advertisements are inextricably linked to the apps that I personally use on a daily basis. This is related to personalized recommendations through big data algorithms, based on technical analysis and processing of the user's personal behavioral habits, hobbies, or economic, health and credit status. But on the other side of the coin this can easily lead to excessive collection of personal information, or even the purchase of personal information. This can't help but make users feel like they are being monitored.


Daily use of the ‘Quit Smoking Today’ app.