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How Surveillance Capitalism Claims Knowledge For Power

The massive extraction and exploitation of personal data is having a profound impact on the world’s economic systems. Shoshana Zuboff names and analyses this ‘surveillance capitalism’, a born-digital logic of accumulation that unilaterally claims private human experience for unprecedented processes of production, commodification and sales. The digital dream once promised a new age of empowerment and democratisation. In a startling reversal, surveillance capital’s vast knowledge asymmetries produce an equally vast and unchecked new power to analyse, predict, modify and capitalise on our behaviour. Shoshana Zuboff is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor Emerita at Harvard Business School and Faculty Associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. She is the author of three highly acclaimed books. At Falling Walls, Shoshana will focus on the topic of her latest work, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism, which reveals a world in which people are no longer customers or employees, but rather the raw material for an entirely new economic system. She will explain how and why the individual and collective consequences of this new power are among the most pressing social and political questions of our time, challenging once reliable frameworks of human rights, individual freedom and democratic governance.

Shoshana Zuboff

Havard Business School

Shoshana Zuboff is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School (retired). Over the last decades her research has focused on the digital revolution, the evolution of capitalism and the historical emergence of psychological individuality. With several notable publications under her belt, her most recent and highly acclaimed work critically examines the business model that underpins the digital world, exposing the emergence of ‘surveillance capitalism’ – a system whereby free services used by billions of people are exploited by the providers to monitor user behaviour, often without their explicit consent. Shoshana’s book has already drawn comparisons to some of the most distinct socio-economic heavyweights of our times and promises to become a seminal reference work in years to come.

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