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Shoshana Zuboff: The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

When Feb 04, 2019
from 06:30 PM to 08:30 PM
Where Faculty of Law, University of Cambridge
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Shoshana Zuboff (Harvard University) will be speaking in Cambridge on February 4th following the launch of her new book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism. Join us in Cambridge University’s Faculty of Law from 18.30 to 20.30 for what promises to be an essential discussion for anyone interested in the future of our digital societies. This talk is hosted by the Cambridge Trust & Technology Initiative in association with Heffers Bookshop, and will be followed by a drinks reception.

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Society is at a turning point. The heady optimism that accompanied the advent of the Internet is gone, replaced by a deep unease. Technologies that were meant to liberate us have exacerbated social inequalities and stoked explosive political climates across the world. Tech companies gather our information online and sell it to the highest bidder, whether government or retailer. In this world of surveillance capitalism, profit depends not only on predicting our behaviour but modifying it too.

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism is a deeply-reasoned examination of the threat of unprecedented power free from democratic oversight. As it explores this new capitalism’s impact on society, politics, business, and technology, it exposes the fundamental struggles that will decide both the next chapter of capitalism and the meaning of information civilization. Most critically, it shows how we can protect ourselves and our communities ensuring we are the masters of the digital rather than its slaves.

Shoshana Zuboff has been called ‘the true prophet of the information age’ by the Financial Times for her ground-breaking book, In the Age of the Smart Machine. She is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor Emerita at Harvard Business School as well as Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School.


Advance praise for The Age of Surveillance Capitalism

“From the very first page I was consumed with an overwhelming imperative: everyone needs to read this book as act of digital self-defence. With tremendous lucidity and moral courage, Zuboff demonstrates not only how our minds are being mined for data but also how they are being rapidly and radically changed in the process. The hour is late and much has been lost already - but as we learn in these indispensable pages, there is still hope for emancipation.” - Naomi Klein, author of This Changes Everything and No Logo

“Assuming we survive to tell the tale, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism has a high probability of joining the likes of Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations and Max Weber’s Economy and Society as defining social-economics texts of modern times … It is to be savored and re-read and discussed with colleagues and friends. No zippy one-liners from me, except to almost literally beg you to read this book” - Tom Peters, author of In Search of Excellence

 “Shoshana Zuboff has produced the most provocative compelling moral framework thus far for understanding the new realities of our digital environment and its anti-democratic threats. From now on, all serious writings on the internet and society will have to take into account The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.” - Joseph Turow, Robert Lewis Shayon Chair Professor, Annenberg School, University of Pennsylvania

 “Zuboff’s expansive, erudite, deeply-researched exploration of digital futures elucidates the norms and hidden terminal goals of information-intensive industries. Zuboff’s book is the information industry’s Silent Spring.” - Chris Hoofnagle, University of California, Berkeley

About us

The Trust & Technology Initiative brings together and drives forward interdisciplinary research from Cambridge and beyond to explore the dynamics of trust and distrust in relation to internet technologies, society and power; to better inform trustworthy design and governance of next generation tech at the research and development stage; and to promote informed, critical, and engaging voices supporting individuals, communities and institutions in light of technology’s increasing pervasiveness in societies.

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