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How To Destroy Surveillance Capitalism
by Cory Doctorow
Posted June 3, 2021
Surveillance capitalism is everywhere. But it’s not the result of some wrong turn or a rogue abuse of corporate power — it’s the system working as intended. This is the subject of Cory Doctorow’s new book, which we’re thrilled to publish in whole here on OneZero. This is how to destroy surveillance capitalism.
To understand why you shouldn’t worry about mind-control rays — but why you should worry about surveillance and Big Tech — we must start by unpacking what we mean by “persuasion.”
Google, Facebook, and other surveillance capitalists promise their customers (the advertisers) that if they use machine-learning tools trained on unimaginably large data sets of nonconsensually harvested personal information, they will be able to uncover ways to bypass the rational faculties of the public and direct their behavior, creating a stream of purchases, votes, and other desired outcomes. More…