Commentary

Explainer: what is surveillance capitalism and how does it shape our economy?

Data collection Data collection platforms data surveillance Privacy
Description

I recently purchased a bedroom bundle (mattress, bed base, pillows and sheets) from a well known Australian startup for my son, who has flown the nest. Now I’m swamped with Google and Facebook ads for beds and bedding. The week before it was puffer jackets.

Ever wonder why and how this happens? The answer is surveillance capitalism.

Surveillance capitalism describes a market driven process where the commodity for sale is your personal data, and the capture and production of this data relies on mass surveillance of the internet. This activity is often carried out by companies that provide us with free online services, such as search engines (Google) and social media platforms (Facebook).

These companies collect and scrutinise our online behaviours (likes, dislikes, searches, social networks, purchases) to produce data that can be further used for commercial purposes. And it’s often done without us understanding the full extent of the surveillance.

Read the full article on The Conversation.

Publication Details
Publication Year:
2019