1. bookVolume 11 (2021): Issue 1-2 (June 2021)
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
16 Apr 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
access type Open Access

Freedom in the Age of surveillance capitalism: Lessons from Shoshana Zuboff

Published Online: 04 Jun 2021
Page range: 67 - 81
Journal Details
License
Format
Journal
First Published
16 Apr 2016
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Languages
English
Abstract

The Age of surveillance capitalism is a profound economical, sociological, political, philosophical, and ethical work by the American author, Harvard University Professor Shoshana Zuboff. In this work, she analyzes the new economic system, which she calls “surveillance capitalism.” This system revolves around the commodification of personal data, which allows human behavior to be predicted and “nudged” towards profitable ends. This system is historically unprecedented and has only become possible in the technological milieu of interconnected devices, which appeared in the 21st century. In this article, I look at the issue of freedom in Zuboff’s work. I argue that her understanding of freedom involves three ethical dimensions, namely privacy, autonomy, and authenticity. I take “surveillance capitalism” as a theoretical framework, in which I explore several ethical challenges to freedom in the digital age.

Keywords

BAUMAN, Z. (2000): Liquid modernity. Cambridge: Polity Press. Search in Google Scholar

BALL, K. (2019): Review of Zuboff’s The age of surveillance capitalism. In: Surveillance & Society, 17(1/2), pp. 252–256. Search in Google Scholar

BERLIN, I. (1969): Four essays of liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Search in Google Scholar

BRIDLE, J. (2019): The age of surveillance capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff review – we are the pawns. In: The Guardian, February 2. [online] [Retrieved April 10, 2021] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2019/feb/02/age-of-surveillance-capitalism-shoshana-zuboff-review Search in Google Scholar

CADWALLADR, C. (2018): ‘I made Steve Bannon’s psychological warfare tool’: Meet the data war whistleblower. In: The Guardian, March 18. [online] [Retrieved February 1, 2021] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/mar/17/data-war-whistleblower-christopher-wylie-faceook-nix-bannon-trump Search in Google Scholar

CASTELLS, M. (2017): Power and counter-power in the digital society. [online] [Retrieved February 1, 2021] Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io3xwOBD4f0 Search in Google Scholar

COHEN, J. (2019): Review of Zuboff’s The age of surveillance capitalism. In: Surveillance & Society, 17(1/2), pp. 240–245. Search in Google Scholar

DOSTOYEVSKY, F. (1879): The Grand Inquisitor. From The Brothers Karamazov, trans. C. Garnett. [online] [Retrieved February 1, 2021] Available at: http://fs2.american.edu/dfagel/www/Philosophers/Dostoyevsky/GrandInquisitor1.html Search in Google Scholar

EVANGELISTA, R. (2019): Review of Zuboff’s The age of surveillance capitalism. In: Surveillance & Society, 17(1/2), pp. 246–251. Search in Google Scholar

GLUCHMAN, V. (2001): B. F Skinner: For and against freedom and human dignity. In: Filozofia, 56(4), pp. 259–265. Search in Google Scholar

HARARI, Y. N. (2018): 21 lessons for the 21st century. [online] [Retrieved February 1, 2021] Available at: https://philosophiatopics.files.wordpress.com/2018/09/yuval-noah-harari-21-lessons-for-the-21st-century.pdf Search in Google Scholar

HARDT, R. & NEGRI, A. (2000): Empire. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Search in Google Scholar

JESPERSEN, J. L., ALBRECHTSLUND, A., ØHRSTRØM, P., HASLE, P. & ALBRETSEN, J. (2007): Surveillance, persuasion, and panopticon. In: Y. de Kort, W. I. Jsselsteijn, C. Midden, B. E. & B. J. Fogg (eds.): Persuasive Technology: Lecture Notes in Computer Science. Berlin & Heidelberg: Springer-Verlag, pp. 109–120. Search in Google Scholar

JOHNSON, B. (2010): Privacy is no longer a social norm, says Facebook founder. In: The Guardian, January 11. [online] [Retrieved February 1, 2021] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2010/jan/11/facebook-privacy Search in Google Scholar

KARAS, A. (2003): Filosofiia hromadianskoho suspilstva v klasychnykh teoriiakh i neklasychnykh interpretatsiiakh [The philosophy of civil society in classical theories and nonclassical interpretations]. Kyiv & Lviv: Ivan Franko University Press. Search in Google Scholar

KANT, I. (1997): Groundwork of the metaphysics of morals. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Search in Google Scholar

KHAN, A. (2019): Book review: Shoshana Zuboff, The age of surveillance capitalism: the fight for human future at the new frontier of power. In: Social Change, 49(4), pp. 735–738. Search in Google Scholar

PENTLAND, A. (2014): Social physics: How good ideas spread – the lessons from a new science. New York: Penguin Books. Search in Google Scholar

ROHLF, M. (2020): Immanuel Kant. In: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. [online] [Retrieved February 1, 2021] Available at: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/kant/ Search in Google Scholar

SHOEMAN, F. D. (1992): Privacy and social freedom. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Search in Google Scholar

SKINNER, B. F. (1976): Beyond freedom & dignity. London: Pelican Books. Search in Google Scholar

TAYLOR, CH. (1992): The ethics of authenticity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. Search in Google Scholar

THALER, R. H. & SUNSTEIN, C. R. (2003): Libertarian paternalism. In: The American Economic Review, 93(2), pp. 175–179. Search in Google Scholar

ZUBOFF, S. (2019): The age of surveillance capitalism: The fight for a human future at the new frontier of power. New York: PublicAffairs. [online] [Retrieved February 1, 2021] Available at: https://we.riseup.net/assets/533560/Zuboff%2C+Shoshana.The+Age+of+Surveillance+Capitalism.2019.pdf Search in Google Scholar

Recommended articles from Trend MD

Plan your remote conference with Sciendo