Shoshana Zuboff: Surveillance capitalism and democracy 1


YouTube has the video Shoshana Zuboff: Surveillance capitalism and democracy.

The collection and analysis of data is changing the way economies operate. Are these changes so fundamental that they can be said to have led to the emergence of a new form of capitalism – surveillance capitalism? If people’s behaviour is made increasingly transparent, do we become a society in which trust is no longer necessary? Are individuals a mere appendage to the digital machine, objects of new mechanisms which reward and punish according to the determinations of private capital? How is social cohesion affected when people become dispensable as a labour force, while their data continues to provide function as a source of value in lucrative new markets that trade in predictions of human behaviour? How should we understand the new quality of power that arises from these unprecedented conditions? What kind of society does it aim to create? And what ramifications will these developments have for the principles of liberal democracy? Will privacy law and anti-trust law be enough? How can we tame what we do not yet understand?


I had no idea how eyeopening this talk would be. It was worth every minute of the 2 hours I spent watching this. Some of her most profound statements came in the Q & A session after the formal talk. I’ll have to go back and listen to the introductions. I initially skipped over them because I was impatient to hear about this topic that was new to me.


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One thought on “Shoshana Zuboff: Surveillance capitalism and democracy

  • SteveG Post author

    I bought a system to monitor the temperature in my house at several points. It takes the measurements, sends them out over the internet (through my local area network and my internet connection) to the equipment manufacturer. I can access the results on their website. My preference would have been to send them to my local computer. for my capture. I would then put it on the internet on my website with the proper security control over who could see the data. In Shoshana’s remarks she does talk about how the “smart home” of today is constructed, as opposed to my own concept of how it should have been done.