Capitalist Corporate Surveillance in a Postindustrial State : Privacy Concerns, Social Categorization, and Power Imbalances
Scott, Mae (Scott U., Patricia M.)
Mass data collection through smartphones and smart devices for corporate profit, or capitalist surveillance, is a relatively new concept to scholars. In the digital age, our societies rely on technology more than ever before, creating innumerable amounts of personal user data that is being collected, analyzed, and sold for profit. Through a sociological perspective, this paper explains the omnipresence of capitalist surveillance to argue that consumer's private lives are being commodified by the data market, largely without consumers' full knowledge. Current systems and laws in the United States fail to protect citizens from unfair data collection, leaving minority populations in an especially precarious position. As the practices of social categorization are automated and hidden from consumer view, users' privacy rights are being undermined; power balances between the elite and the public are being exacerbated as consumers are being exploited by a system they have very little agency in. By illuminating corporate surveillance practices and their predatory natures, I aim to shed light on the importance of consumer awareness, data collection legislation, and users' rights to privacy.
vi, 45 p.
Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College.
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