What is Surveillance Capitalism?
Surveillance Capitalism is basically the power that large companies such as Google and Facebook have with the information they gain from the littlest things we do on their websites. According to Dr. Shoshana Zuboff, her definition of surveillance capitalism is, “radically disembedded and extractive variant of information capitalism” based on the commodification of “reality” and its transformation into behavioral data for analysis and sales. Things such as facial recognition have sprouted from this concept because they have access to this type of information. Information such as how fast you drive, where you visit most often, and even a case of Target predicting a teen pregnancy just based off of her purchasing a more subtle scented shampoo. These companies will either sell this kind of information to third party companies, or use it to their advantage.
“Surveillance Capitalism” Documentary with Shoshana Zuboff
This documentary does a great job with answering the question I needed answered. Shoshana Zuboff has seemed to “crack the code” that big time companies have been getting away with for years. She discusses how Google put microphones in their home improvement gadgets such as Nest, and how they covered it up by just saying they did not know the gadgets had them, and then she said that they would just put the microphone in another product. She also brought up how PokemonGo was a Google created app, but they kept it hidden by releasing it under a partnership name that obscured their involvement. Facebook knows a lot more information than we know through their ability to predict our behavior based upon our app usage and reaction to content.
Our phones are the leading reason why things like this exist. We give out information in a blink of and eye and we do not even know we are doing it. In a world run by technology, it really opened my eyes to be more aware of all these acts of surveillance capitalism.