“Privacy Is Not Private”

In this week’s blog post, I will focus more on Shoshana Zuboff’s “Surveillance capitalism’ and how companies are always watching us.” One may think that there is not much more to discuss in regards to artificial intelligence, automated diaries, algorithms, etc., but I found that Zuboff touched on a crucial point that has yet to be discussed. Often, we are so focused on companies and websites taking private information from individuals online. Still, from the reading, I found it interesting that online users also play a role in their information being used. During the video, it was mentioned that during a courtroom hearing, the Facebook council stated that individuals with Facebook accounts do not have “reasonable expectation to privacy.” Facebook has clearly made it known that users’ information is not private and will not have the upper hand in a courtroom. Although this has been stated, how many individuals do you know who still use Facebook? Society is aware that their information is being used but continues to use platforms while voicing their frustration. Perhaps this is because corporations revamp their platforms using different names, deceiving their previous users, resulting in a never-ending cycle. Or maybe this is because users are not aware of how their information is being used. One may believe that not posting pictures of themselves on their social media account is keeping them private, but a decision to use an exclamation rather than a period is being picked up on by companies. Zuboff’s suggestion to “dig deeper and read widely” stuck out to me as users are quick to select accept terms and conditions and have not read through them all, missing the fine print. 

On the other hand, the video touches on the convenience that society has from surveillance capitalism. Knowing that “the success of surveillance capitalism is that we don’t mind having Netflix and Amazon predict what we want to buy because they can glean our taste. It’s convenient for us.” When listening to this paraphrased statement, I immediately disagreed, but I had to be honest with myself and reflect. It is disturbing when scrolling through social media and viewing advertisements that relate to my search history, but I have also gotten excited when I have seen advertisements for articles of clothing that appealed to my taste, leading me to buy them. 

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