PROCESS POST: Digital Breadcrumbs

Week 9: November 7 - 12

Website Progress

This week I began monetizing my site by downloading Google Ads. However, I ultimately decided I didn’t want to monetize my site for personal reasons.

I also finally installed Google Analytics but encountered many problems before getting it to work.  


General Data Tracking 

Pod Academy (2016) discusses how we are constantly being tracked by the different apps and technology we use. They state, ” Most applications we use require our location information. We willingly tag ourselves in specific locations through social media platforms, and freely use contactless cards and debit cards, which give retailers, banks and various other organisations information about our daily movements. We are constantly monitored on CCTV, and everything we research online is data being collected or stored.”  I conducted a bit of  research and found this fascinating site that shows you where all the public surveillance cameras are located in major Canadian cities. If you are interested, you can check it out here:  These Maps Show All Secret Surveillance Cameras That Are Spying On Canadians – MTL Blog

A map of Vancouver with a bunch of blue pinned locations
A map of all the public surveillance cameras in Vancouver.

Marketing Data

Your location is not the only information companies take from you. As Pod Academy (2016) states, “all our buying and spending patterns are also being observed and recorded.” However, I am personally less concerned about organizations knowing my consumer preferences than I am about them knowing my location or biological data (fingerprint, facial scan etc) because all these companies can do with that information is suggest products that I might be interested in. They can’t force me to do anything.


Biological Data

On the other hand, I am more concerned about companies knowing my location and biological data. I remember learning that Google partially owned the DNA testing company 23andMe in the SFU course CMNS 240: The Political Economy of Communication. Though I have never done any of those genetic testing kits, this still is concerning for others who have. As Seife (2013) says, “One could easily imagine how insurance companies and pharmaceutical firms might be interested in getting their hands on your genetic information, the better to sell you products (or deny them to you).” However, I have used face ID on my iPhone and have used filters on social media apps, so it’s pretty safe to say multiple companies have scans of my face. My iPhone additionally has my fingerprint from using touch ID.  In conclusion, I am fairly concerned about how much these companies know about me. However, at this point, I think that any attempt to minimize my data trail would be useless. 



Seife, C. (2013). 23and Me Is Terrfying, but Not for the Reasons the Reasons the FDA Thinks. Scientific American.


Pod Academy (2016, May 3). Digital breadcrumbs: The Data trail We Leave Behind Us.  Pod Academy.    


MacDonald, T. (2018, Sept 18). These Maps Show All Secret Surveillance Cameras that Are Spying on Canadians. MTL Blog.

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