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The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism

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The Secrets of Surveillance Capitalism

Google as a Fortune Teller

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung,

5 min read
5 take-aways
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What's inside?

Will “surveillance capitalism” spell the end of people’s right to personal autonomy?

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


Google – and other corporations looking to profit from predictions of consumers’ future buying behaviors – have set their sights on turning data-collection into a full-scale behavioral modification marketplace. In this timely and persuasive article, Harvard Business School professor Shoshana Zuboff provides a detailed analysis of the rise and threat of so-called “surveillance capitalism.” getAbstract recommends her insights to everyone interested in data mining and digital surveillance trends.


It’s no secret that Google collects and sells personal data gathered from its users, but data mining has now moved beyond merely seeking to increase advertisements’ pertinence for users or predicting future buying behaviors. Today, Google – and others looking to profit from user data – have set their sights on a more disturbing goal: full-scale “surveillance capitalism.”

Surveillance capitalism is a system of turning real-time data collection into a means of modifying individuals’ behaviors and selling these results to the highest bidder...

About the Author

Shoshana Zuboff, PhD, is the Charles Edward Wilson professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School (retired). Her forthcoming book is Master or Slave: The Fight for the Soul of Our Information Civilization.

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