Shoshanna Zuboff, a Harvard professor, coins the term “surveillance capitalism” to describe Google’s business model. Surveillance capitalism, according to Zuboff, is a radical form of capitalism that captures personal data without users’ knowledge and uses it for its own economic gain. This new form of capitalism, she argues, threatens individual autonomy and democracy itself.

Google’s “Street View” project is a prime example of surveillance capitalism. The project involved photographing homes worldwide without asking for homeowners’ permission. Google argued that it was for the greater good, but it was a blatant invasion of privacy.

Zuboff further criticises Google’s lack of transparency. She expresses concern about Google’s secret data collection, its opaque algorithms, and the fact that it is virtually impossible to opt out of data collection.

She suggests that the only way to combat surveillance capitalism is through collective action and legal regulation. Zuboff calls for a new “digital rights” movement, akin to the civil rights movement, to protect individuals’ privacy and control over their own data.

Zuboff’s ideas have sparked a worldwide debate about the ethics of data collection and the role of tech giants in society. Her work serves as a wake-up call to the dangers of unchecked surveillance capitalism.

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