Surveillance Capitalism: Threat to Democracy? — WhoWhatWhy

Surveillance capitalists run massive amounts of behavioral data through complex mathematical models. Using multiple sources of data on each individual, algorithms create detailed personality profiles that can reliably predict specific responses, such as voting patterns, based on given stimuli, such as targeted ads and fake news items.

Aisle C

ARTHUR O’CONNOR

The rule of Big Brother has begun, and we are all enabling this new authoritative regime, critics charge.

We are empowering “surveillance capitalists” by revealing our every thought, word, and deed through our networked devices — our cars, cell phones, laptops, notepads, sensors, and voice-activated speakers (which do as much listening as speaking) such as Google’s Alexa and Amazon’s Echo.

So say certain politicians including Canadian Member of Parliament Charlie Angus and academics such as Harvard Business School professor Shoshana Zuboff. They foresee a new type of business model, referred to as surveillance capitalism. They claim it is currently practiced by tech giants Amazon, Google, and Facebook, and that it is threatening the social compact that underlies democratic capitalism.

But their concerns go far beyond data privacy and identity theft.

Mass Manipulation

In this brave new world, where the Internet of Everything enables the capture of…

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10 thoughts on “Surveillance Capitalism: Threat to Democracy? — WhoWhatWhy

  1. I think I understand the point you are making, nomad. Although “freedom” and “democracy” are illusions that have yet to be achieved, the existing surveillance/police state is very effective at singling out and punishing dissidents who refuse to toe the line.

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