Question 20 - Verbal Reasoning Practice Test for the GRE

Which statement best explains the phrase “seemingly innocuous techniques,” as it applies to the passage?

“Sociologist William G. Staples claims that American culture has evolved into a culture of surveillance. While the ominous Big Brother of Orwell’s 1984 does not haunt our day-to-day lives, Staples argues that we are constantly watched by ‘seemingly innocuous techniques’ he calls ‘Tiny Brothers.’ He cites several examples of these Tiny Brothers, including electronic tracking of employees with GPS systems, email monitoring, and Internet use recorders. He explains how parents can now purchase kits that allow them to drug test their children at home. Even the constant data-mining of our personal online activities resulting in personalized pop-up ads are, according to Staples, a form of surveillance. This surveillance is fine-grained, so that the records gathered create a mosaic that covers multiple facets of an individual’s life. People are resigned to surrendering small aspects of privacy, such as adding a fingerprint scan to their phones, without realizing the tremendous public record that is created.”

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