Your behaviour on sale | Surveillance capitalism and us

While researching on surveillance capitalism, I was perhaps most surprised to see this prevalent knowledge that people knew their data is being captured, a vague sense of awareness without grasping the gravity of this data surveillance. The ways in which it is used against us (or to sell to us) seems beyond basic comprehension. We know these social sites have tons of information on us, but how their influence seeps into our lives and overwhelms us is probably less known. Makes one think there is no alone time anymore as along as one is alone with a phone.


A note on the illustration above:
We are never by ourselves. All we do online makes for a marketplace of experiences and behaviour. Our daily interactions with technology and our increasing reliance on the internet have made it nearly impossible for us to truly have privacy. Our likes, dislikes, moods, routines, interests, hobbies, wishful thinking, vices, all are captured and materialised as our behavioural data for companies to purchase and utilise to target us better. So sitting in a cafe and looking at a screen inevitably gives us the company of onlookers who are keeping an eye on us, capturing all we do to target us better. Minute by minute, captured.

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usually the way we have avoided or minimized the profiling is by denylisting the domains that are well known for tracking and ads. so in place of being shown, “here is the ad about xyz because you messaged/posted about it”, there is no here is everything possible to truly choose freely from, or here is a bias free ad that is purely random. We have disallowed them the choice what to show us in a way that we stopped to see any thing at all. Even if not for behavior surveillance, there ought to be a move and encouragement to own data and speak one’s own mind… after we get better with the Internet shutdowns and random site bans situation :slight_smile:

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The expansion of the surveillance state also disempowers and turns people into customers first, citizens second. The surveillance of our behaviour is used to predict what our future behaviours will be, in order to get us to consume more and rebel less. Surveillance capitalism goes hand-in-hand with intensification of authoritarian state power.