The discussion here follows the article: Big other: surveillance capitalism and the prospects of an information civilization

Surveillance capitalism is the new business model that emerged with the possibility to collect and analyze big data. This model is practiced by various different companies but the most impactful one are put in use by tech giants like google, facebook, alibaba, etc.. It’s a form of intruding people’s privacy, erasing the barrier between personal life and public life, transforming their complex behaviors in scattered data in a graph, obscuring their individualities in order to sell them products or ideologies. Surveillance capitalism can be as “harmless” and helpful as showing you ads for dog food in the exact moment when yours seems to be close to run out, or menstrual pads when you’re about to have your period. They could also show you ads about that cool new game you’ve just talked about with your friend but never really typed about in any device. They could also abuse your psychological issues and illness in order to sell you products. They could also target specific cultural groups and show them specific lies to change the outcome of elections and shape our world in incredible ways.

some extra issues:

  • the little dependency that google has over its employees makes me think unions are less relevant nowadays
  • tech giants helps to build the gap between high income and low income, before you needed much more men at work and you would distribute your gains as a company with much more people
  • the sick dependency that people have created over these services is one of the things that enables them to go so far in respect to disrespecting law and human rights

some solutions:

  • governments have to act and put capable people who understand about the issue to deal and punish these companies. The judgement of facebook was conducted by people who didn’t have any idea about the implications of big data and how far their actions were going. This is the reason why tech companies live under the “better to ask for forgiveness than permission” mantra, as exemplified on the article with google maps
  • education of the population over tools to protect themselves and how exactly they’re being hurt by these corporations so they can make more informed choices about the products they’re using