The Real Cost of Surveillance Capitalism: Digital Humanism in the US and Europe

Shoshana Zuboff’s international best-seller, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the Frontier of Power, has rightfully alarmed citizens of free societies about the uses and misuses of their personal data. Yet the concept of surveillance capitalism, from a global perspective, ultimately obscures more than it reveals. The real threat to liberal democracies is not capitalism, but the growing inequalities that corporate surveillance in its unfettered form both reveals and exacerbates. By unclearly specifying the causal mechanisms of the very real negative costs she identifies, Zuboff creates the impression that capitalism itself is the culprit, when the real source of the problem is the absence of good governance. READ THE PAPER.


CITATION: The Real Cost of Surveillance Capitalism,” in Carlo Ghezzi, Edward Lee, Erich Prem, and Hannes Werther. (eds.) Perspectives on Digital Humanism (Springer, 2021).