The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power

Hardcover, 704 pages

English language

Published Aug. 8, 2019 by Public Affairs.

ISBN:
978-1-61039-569-4
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OCLC Number:
1081043473

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (25 reviews)

"Shoshana Zuboff, named "the true prophet of the information age" by the Financial Times, has always been ahead of her time. Her seminal book In the Age of the Smart Machine foresaw the consequences of a then-unfolding era of computer technology. Now, three decades later she asks why the once-celebrated miracle of digital is turning into a nightmare. Zuboff tackles the social, political, business, personal, and technological meaning of "surveillance capitalism" as an unprecedented new market form. It is not simply about tracking us and selling ads, it is the business model for an ominous new marketplace that aims at nothing less than predicting and modifying our everyday behavior--where we go, what we do, what we say, how we feel, who we're with. The consequences of surveillance capitalism for us as individuals and as a society vividly come to life in The Age of Surveillance Capitalism's pathbreaking analysis of power. …

2 editions

I knew it was bad, but ... wow

5 stars

I had no idea this book was this large when I borrowed it from a library. It somehow hit my list and came up in rotation. It's 700 pages, but just over 500 pages of content. The rest is reference material, notes and bibliography.

The author does a fantastic way of describing the recent history of data surveillance and how it's been monetized. We aren't really the product, but are the objects where raw material is mined for prediction engines that attempt to figure out how we will act or nudge us to act.

The first part deals with big tech. There's a part about totalitarianism, then moving into recent psychology and how all these are tied together.

Expect 10-15+ hours of reading with this. Value!

This made me and keeps me thinking. Wonderful book, but probably not for all.

A blaring wake up call for all of us

5 stars

i cannot fathom how anyone would think Zuboff's writing was "dry" or difficult to get through. I devoured this book in a couple of days. Her prose balanced technical writing with storytelling and kept me hooked for a hundred pages at a time. The subject matter of the book was familiar to me, but Zuboff makes clear that the devil is in the details by spending over 500 pages leaving no stone unturned in the examination on surveillance capitalism. I only wish that her conclusion had a stronger call to action for its reader. I do not think it is enough to declare our opposition to surveillance capitalism. I wanted to learn of organizations to join and donate to, or actions I could take on my own social media and electronic devices.

Vital Analysis; Uninspiring Dreaming

3 stars

I've been making my way through this (audio)book for a year or so. I realised some 15 hours in that it didn't make sense because the files weren't organised correctly (my bad). Because I listened to bits and pieces out of order, I had to work extra hard to get the concepts, which I'm glad for now even though it sucked. Zuboff's analysis here is fantastic. Her breakdown of the machinations of "surveillance capitalism" is one of the most significant contributions to understanding how this particular "species" of capitalism works that I think we are likely to get this half of the twenty-first century. And "we" sure need it.

The book falls short on political solutions however, and the way it's written was frustrating to say the least. Zuboff's faith in markets, even market capitalism, knocks more creative solutions out of her grasp reacting to attacks on liberal democracy, rather …

Review of 'The Age of Surveillance Capitalism' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Zuboff nails the current state of privacy here. In this tome focused on the private sector, she assesses the new surveillance economy, where human experience is the raw material to be mass harvested as much as possible. Basically, it has become so easy to acquire and harvest data through hardware, software, algorithms, sensors, cameras, gps, etc., that the private sector has every incentive to focus on data acquisition if they can. The insurance sector is teaming up with the connected car and wearable health device industries. The free app that comes with your electric toothbrush, kid's toy, or fridge is ultimately for "behavioral surplus capture". The examples in the book go on.

Zuboff combines history, economics, culture, philosophy, and law to show how we got here and how things have spiraled so quickly, with little to no regulation around the world (still in almost 2022). A reliance on secrecy, normalization …

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