Networks of Control
by Wolfie Christl and Sarah Spiekermann
The collection, analysis and utilization of digital information based on our clicks, swipes, likes, purchases, movements, behaviors and interests are now part of everyday life. But, while individuals become increasingly transparent, companies take control of the recorded data. Wolfie Christl and Sarah Spiekermann show in their book how today’s networks of corporate surveillance are constantly tracking, profiling, categorizing and rating the lives of billions – across platforms, devices and life contexts.
A Report on Corporate Surveillance, Digital Tracking, Big Data & Privacy
The collection, analysis and utilization of digital information based on our clicks, swipes, likes, purchases, movements, behaviors and interests are now part of everyday life. While individuals become increasingly transparent, companies take control of the recorded data in an often nontransparent ...
Based on many examples their comprehensive report answers questions such as:
- Who are the players in today’s personal data business? How do online platforms, tech companies and data brokers really collect, share and make use of personal information?
- Which data is recorded by smartphones, fitness trackers, e-readers, smart TVs, connected thermostats and cars? Will the Internet of Things lead to ubiquitous surveillance?
- What can be inferred from our purchases, calls, messages, website visits, web searches and likes? How is Big Data analytics already used in fields such as marketing, retail, insurance, finance, healthcare and work to treat us differently?
- What are the societal and ethical implications of these practices? And how can we move forward?
Their detailed investigation not only exposes the full degree and scale of today’s personal data business, but also shows how algorithmic decisions on people may lead to discrimination, exclusion and other social implications. Followed by an ethical reflection on personal data markets the authors present a selection of recommended actions.
"the most comprehensive study ever carried out on this aspect of the digital economy" – La Stampa, Italy
"a must-read for anyone who is interested in today's data-driven world" – Paul Nemitz, Director Fundamental Rights, DG Justice, European Commission
"having such a collection of examples in one place is really exciting" – Anna Fielder, chair of Privacy International
"an extensive but approachable crash course in big data and collection measures, a welcome, gap-filling foundation-building for a fledgling privacy professional like myself" – Courtney Gabrielson, iapp