Timelines of the massive invasions, threats and hazards created by Surveillance Capitalism
Our timelines are easily navigated in bite size overviews, by swiping left or right on a phone, clicking and dragging on a tablet or desktop, or clicking the left and right arrows.
We invite everyone to leave thoughts, comments or questions below the timelines.
Are we on China's All-Seeing Surveillance path?
Just a fascist surveillance capitalism version of the autocratic surveillance communism?
In the US, billionaires and corporations own the regulators, Congress, the courts and the statehouses.
Have you been impacted by Surveillance Capitalism?
There are many dense academic research papers and articles that few people have the time to read. We create InfoArt to help expose and illuminate the digital manipulations shredding democracy.
We also work to give voice to those directly impacted by Surveillance Capitalism. Have you been impacted? If you have, please share your experiences, fears and insights by filling out this form.
Is Bezos our Digital Pharaoh and resistance futile?
What is Surveillance Capitalism?
We can't remember. They never forget.
Sousveillance: Watching the Watchers, and the Manipulators
The combination of state surveillance and its capitalist counterpart means that digital technology is separating the citizens in all societies into two groups: the watchers (invisible, unknown and unaccountable) and the watched. This has profound consequences for democracy because asymmetry of knowledge translates into asymmetries of power. But whereas most democratic societies have at least some degree of oversight of state surveillance, we currently have almost no regulatory oversight of its privatised counterpart. This is intolerable.
The evolution did not stop there. Ultimately they understood that the most predictive behavioural data comes from what I call “economies of action”, as systems are designed to intervene in the state of play and actually modify behaviour, shaping it toward desired commercial outcomes. We saw the experimental development of this new “means of behavioural modification” in Facebook’s contagion experiments and the Google-incubated augmented reality game Pokémon Go.
It is no longer enough to automate information flows about us; the goal now is to automate us. These processes are meticulously designed to produce ignorance by circumventing individual awareness and thus eliminate any possibility of self-determination. As one data scientist explained to me, “We can engineer the context around a particular behaviour and force change that way… We are learning how to write the music, and then we let the music make them dance.”
'The goal is to automate us': welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism
John Naughton, The Guardian (20 Jan 2019)
Zucking Manipulation Fractured Flag – medium density wall hanging
Our 59″ x 50″ wall hanging, the “Zucking Manipulation” fractured flag, documents the digital forces mobilized by the most powerful companies and wealthiest individuals in history who actively manipulate society for their personal profit. They designed and control our attention economy and the misinformation we are fed by the few monopolistic platforms. Their high priests…Read More