Surveillance Capitalism: Big tech, social media & the commodification of data

2:30pm Sunday 19 September

About this session

Have we entered a new era of surveillance capitalism? Shoshana Zuboff, author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, describes the phenomenon as “a rogue mutation of capitalism marked by concentrations of wealth, knowledge and power unprecedented in human history.” The trends which Zuboff and others describe are deeply concerning, and comparisons with George Orwell’s 1984 abound. New markets have emerged which rely on large-scale data mining technology to keep track of millions of individuals and predict their behaviour in order to sell products and peddle influence. Leaks have revealed the existence of vast surveillance networks like the NSA, which pry into the lives of billions of people across the world. What do developments like these tell us about social control in modern capitalism and, crucially, our ability to resist the system?

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