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Shoshana Zuboff: Surveillance Capitalism and Democracy |

Shoshana Zuboff: Surveillance Capitalism and Democracy Contribution to the speech series "Making Sense of the Digital Society"

von: Shoshana Zuboff

Does the mass collection and analysis of data result in a new "surveillance capitalism"? What is the meaning of trust when people's behavior becomes more and more transparent? How is social cohesion transformed when people become redundant as workers?


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, what role does trust play? 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?

Shoshana Zuboff is a social scientist and author of three books, each of which has been recognised as the definitive signal of a new epoch in technological society. Her latest book, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism reveals a world in which technology users are no longer customers but the raw material for an entirely new economic system. Zuboff is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor Emerita at Harvard Business School and was a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School from 2014 until 2016.

Mehr Informationen

  • Sascha Scheier (bpb)

  • Tobi Müller (Moderator)

  • Shoshana Zuboff

  • Produktion: 06.11.2019

  • Spieldauer: 128 Min.

  • hrsg. von: bpb, HIIG


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