I enjoyed reading Zuboff's piece, and think I agree with a lot of it. It was also a nice follow up to the Agre reading – going deeper into the culture of capture and its implications. There is a need for an expanded vocabulary and terminology so conversations about privacy cannot be dismissed as irrational paranoia about big brother, as Agre and Zuboff both touch upon.. an understanding of the enemy to be able to tackle it. As she says, demanding privacy from surveillance capitalists .. violate the basic mechanisms of the entity's survival – there is a need for better tools to interrupt, outlaw or regulate. It was interesting reading this piece along with understanding DuckDuckGo's business model – I wonder what Google could have looked like today if they never went down the targeting advertising route and operated like DuckDuckGo..
The reading made me think about the Aadhar scheme in India a lot – particularly the bit about an entirely new dimension of social inequality – the indirect requirement for Aadhar, and limited ability to exercise one's right to privacy, affected people on hugely different scales, inverse to their privilege.
The reading also made connection with my electronic rituals class – one could look at all of life's activities through a lens of ritual, which implies repetition and articulation of a sequence of activities – things ripe for capture. We also discussed the ideas of fortune telling and divination – uncertainty, or our unease with it, has always been a strong force – the institute of religion serves a strong purpose in settling this unease, for example. It seems surveillance capitalism preys on this weakness with a false promise of certainty – one has to ask whose certainty, whose story? As Zuboff says - freedom from uncertainty is no freedom.