More threats to privacay, freedom and liberty
Five years ago I wrote in the letters section of the Citizen of the dangers to our personal privacy and individuality concerning “smart” technologies and wearable computers.
As a sort of update I’m informed by the recent scholarly work of Shoshana Zuboff, professor emeritus of Harvard Business School. Her erudite, detailed analysis of the laregly veiled transformation of post-modern society into the “Age of Surveillance Capitalism”, the title of the book (Public Affairs Books — 2019), explains the power of meta data collection and subsequent profitable utility of such by way of analytics of personal information of all smart phone and internet useres. Everyone is being constantly tracked and recorded and it will only get worse as time goes on.
Google, Facebook, Youtube and all the other apps, devices, etc., scoop up all this data which is then sold to marketers in order to predict behaviour patterns subsequently rendered into profitable guaranteed outcomes of consumer demands. Zuboff shines the light of truth on the largely lawless build out of this all-encompassing digital infrastructure, and outlines the new realities of it and its anti-democratic threats.
Naomi Klein, Canadian auther notes: “Everyone needs to read this book as an act of digital self-defense…Zuboff demonstrates not only how our minds are being mined for data but also how they are being rapidly and radically changed in the process.”
One of Zuboff’s definitions of surveillance capitalism is: a parasitic economic logic in which the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new global architecture of behavioural modification.
University of California professor Chris Hoofnagle says: “Zuboff’s book is the information industry’s ‘Silent Spring’”.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed.