Electronic recording and surveillance systems are arguably some of the most pervasive technologies in the world today. Despite this rapid proliferation and their study by many researchers, there is still work to be done in understanding how people reason about these technologies when they encounter them. In this article, the authors describe attitudes, perceptions, and concerns regarding electronic recording encountered in daily activities. They present data gathered from interviews grounded in real experiences that form the basis of a discussion for how people develop mental models about the intent and uses of a broad scope of recording technologies embedded in the world. Individual constructions of reality about current recording systems, including the people, places, and activities that surround them, provide insight into how design, technology, and policy can work together to provide appropriate information about the existence and uses of recording devices. These insights can lead to usable systems that allow individual users to make informed personal decisions.