"Surveillance Capitalism": Monetizing Our Thoughts

"… We’re only at the cusp of technology dominating our lives. Soon, there will be a far more expansive “Internet of Things” – interconnected devices activated by our voices (and thoughts) – plus driverless vehicles, wearable technology, “smart” communities, genetically modified people, and a thousand other “breakthroughs.”

Google, Facebook, China’s Alibaba and Tencent, and other tech giants know what we’ve been up to and what we’re likely to do next. Amazon knows that and more.

These companies know our political views, our intellectual interests, our hobbies, our recent purchases, our travel destinations, our friends, our casual acquaintances, our rivals, our aspirations, our frustrations – and a whole lot more. They increasingly know our conversations via devices such as Nest and Alexa, which we purchased to listen to us, not the other way around. Nest can even tell when we’re not home by the decrease in room temperature.

Is Big Tech developing a whole new strain of capitalism predicated on modifying (read manipulating) consumer behavior?

Shoshana Zuboff, a professor emeritus at the Harvard Business School and author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism , argues that a new economic order has emerged, one that revolves around predictive behavior that Big Tech can divine and sell. It’s not just the Silicon Valley behemoths that are exploiting this phenomenon, Zuboff says. A whole multitude of companies and brands – from pharmaceuticals and insurance providers to banks and carmakers – are angling to get in on data-driven money-making.

As Zuboff recently volunteered to Axios , “It’s all over the place, embedding in every industry.”"

Read more at: