Ch 09: Surveillance Capitalism


In the video, Zuboff explained the concept of surveillance capitalism, how it has diverted away from the actual significance that it used to be, disseminated across sectors, and affecting everyone who does not understand the new logic behind it. Talking about it, Zuboff concluded that surveillance capitalism is now a new form of capitalism that is more dangerous than capitalism itself. This kind of capitalism exploits people and does not even allow people to have a clue about it in any way. Rather, it keeps hiding people under the umbrella of helping them freely without collecting a dime (News).

Zuboff clarified that the digital has been hijacked by the rogue of economic logic and we have been convinced so much that we cannot see anything or understand anything going underneath. By using the digital and submitting to digital lines like google and Facebook, we have been hidden and glued under surveillance capitalism. Reason being that these digital companies are using some backstage operations that we are unaware of. For instance, a person could type the most secretive matter of his/her life in search engines and ask search engines about it, unknowingly to this person, he has been tracked and manipulated because the behind the scene is the presence of those who captured everything about our life. Zu off explained that they do this with artificial intelligence and this is not what we can know easily. Another instance she gave is the use of apps on our phones, the more we use those apps, the more we allow them into our private life, allowing them to know our location, what we do and how we do it. However, this way we have allowed them to predict us and our behavior and this is a hot cake for them as they will get huge money from it. Eventually, Zuboff said these people have seized our private life as though our private life is no more private but social but there is still a way out which is by coming together to expose, see and know everything about this surveillance capitalism, after this we can now fight for our right.

In her article, Big data: surveillance capitalism and the prospect of an information civilization, Zuboff takes us through the imbalanced side of technology generally. According to her, technology is although available to civilize us and the situation of our states that is not all. Various organizations, apart from the audience what is more to this so-called civilization but they will never let other people who are out of the space of computer and technology know about this. To explain the real identity behind him. Zuboff explained to us what she called ‘Bug data’. These big companies engage in what Zuboff regards as surveillance capitalism and rather than making use of technology to the actual thing we know it to be, they are using it for big data which means, they are using it to fetch loads of information from us. The information which on normal ground, we would not have released if we had the opportunity to understand what is going on underneath.

Receiving big data is what civilization and technology of the 21st century have become. Zuboff explained by investigating how search engines like google use technology to get the most information that we never want anyone to know about. However, if they want, theses information could be released to a broadcasting agency and be used to get loads of money. The effect of civilization is now information, to get huge data for us and be collated for their use. If many people understand that the computer-mediated transaction that is going on, underneath, many will not transact online again and this is why Zuboff released her book to enlighten the ignorant and let them understand the fire on the mountain of civilization and technology which is mainly to extract big data from clients who happens to fall in place.


Shoshana Zuboff on ‘surveillance capitalism’ and how tech companies are always watching us. Dir. Channel 4 News. Perf. Shoshana Zuboff’s. 2019. YouTube Video:

Zuboff, Shoshana. “Big other: surveillance capitalism and the prospects of an information civilization.” Journal of Information Technology (2015) 30, 75–89 © 2015 JIT Palgrave Macmillan All rights reserved 0268-3962/15 (2015): 76-87. Document :

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