How Tech Companies Manipulate Our Personal Data
We should, after all, avoid a belief in tidy solutions. Works of technology criticism are often expected to provide a few hundred pages of doomsaying before providing a concise final chapter in which the Gordian knot of our problems is neatly and improbably cut. “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” with its near-700-page footprint, is thankfully not that kind of book. Light on prescriptivist notions, Zuboff does propose a “right to sanctuary,” based on universalist, if ever more threatened, humanitarian principles, like the right to asylum. But she’s after something bigger, providing a scaffolding of critical thinking from which to examine the great crises of the digital age. Through her we learn that our friends to the north were indeed correct: Facebook is the problem (along with Google, Microsoft, Amazon, et al.). This is the rare book that we should trust to lead us down the long hard road of understanding.