A live-streamed discussion about "the unprecedented form of power called 'surveillance capitalism' and the quest by corporations to predict and control our behavior" featuring Naomi Klein, a senior correspondent for The Intercept, and Harvard Business School professor emerita Shoshana Zuboff is planned for Friday evening.
The conversation is set to begin at 7pm ET. Hosted by The Intercept on Facebook Live and YouTube, the discussion follows the January release of Zuboff's latest book, entitled The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power.
As Zuboff explained on Democracy Now! Friday morning, ahead of The Intercept's event,
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Surveillance capitalism departs in many ways from the history of market capitalism, but in a fundamental way it is continuous with that history. We know that capitalism has evolved by taking things that live outside of the market, bringing them into the market dynamic, transforming them into commodities that can be sold and purchased... surveillance capitalism continues this tradition, but with that dark twist. In our time, surveillance capitalism claims private human experience for the market dynamic as a free source of raw material that is translated into behavioral data. These data are then combined with advanced computational abilities to create predictions—predictions of what we will do, predictions of our behavior, predictions of what we will do now, soon and later. And these predictions are then sold to business customers in a new kind of marketplace that trades exclusively in human futures.
This approach, now termed surveillance capitalism, was initially developed at Google about two decades ago for online targeted advertising, Zuboff noted, but has since spread to Facebook and throughout the world of major tech firms. Because of this fundamental shift, she said, "we are going to need the social response that addresses, interrupts, and outlaws this new economic logic, not just a single company or not just a couple of companies."