Surveillance capitalism is a threat to democracy

31/01/2023 | Financial Times

An article in the Financial Times (£) highlights a paper published in November by Harvard Business School Professor Shoshana Zuboff. The paper: Surveillance Capitalism or Democracy? The Death Match of Institutional Orders and the Politics of Knowledge in Our Information Civilization is critical of collective government efforts to reign in Big Tech and claims a functioning democracy cannot co-exist in an era of pervasive corporate surveillance. Speaking to the FT, she explained, "We have fantastic scholars, researchers, advocates who are focused on privacy, others who are focused on disinformation, others who are focused on the nexus with democracy," but the fragmentation of their respective specialisms makes it challenging to address the precise cause of harm. Citing location data statistics to illustrate that legislative efforts are falling short, Zuboff claims US citizens have their location revealed 747 times a day. At the same time, in the EU, it's better but still 376 times. 

The FT also points out the author's credentials, having published In the Age of the Smart Machine in 1988, in which she predicted computers would change our lives. And then, in 2019, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, where she talked about how technology companies were making made billions of dollars through personal data, saying, "We thought we were searching Google, but Google was searching us." 

Watch a presentation by Professor Zuboff on Unfinished Live, discussing her new paper on surveillance capitalism.  

Note, riveting stuff

Read Full Story
US Dollar

What is this page?

You are reading a summary article on the Privacy Newsfeed, a free resource for DPOs and other professionals with privacy or data protection responsibilities helping them stay informed of industry news all in one place. The information here is a brief snippet relating to a single piece of original content or several articles about a common topic or thread. The main contributor is listed in the top left-hand corner, just beneath the article title.

The Privacy Newsfeed monitors over 300 global publications, of which more than 4,350 summary articles have been posted to the online archive dating back to the beginning of 2020. A weekly roundup is available by email every Friday.

Freevacy has been shortlisted in the Best Educator category.
The PICCASO Privacy Awards recognise the people making an outstanding contribution to this dynamic and fast-growing sector.