DATA TRAFFICKERS

GAFAs are no longer just trying to capture and monetize our data, but to predict and influence our behaviour: by clicking on an ad or liking content, we feed Google or Facebook's algorithms that transform them into marketable behavioural predictions. As a result, society is divided into two classes: those who watch, the minority, and those who are watched, the majority of us. This is what the American academic Shoshana Zuboff, Professor Emeritus at Harvard Business School, defends in a scathing essay entitled The Age of Surveillance Capitalism to be published  by Zulma.

The initial dream of the digital society which consisted in sharing data for the benefit of all, has turned into a nightmare for democracy. According to Shoshana Zuboff, this is a new form of capitalism, that does not include the mutually beneficial sharing of the added value that used to define capitalism (, at least in principle, of capitalism in the old way).  Indeed, if the division of labour organized the industrial society, the division of knowledge today organizes digital society and surveillance capitalism takes over. Zuboff compares consumers and their data to elephants whose ivory tusks are coveted by poachers: according to the famous saying, "if you don't pay, you are the product" but the American academic concludes, "you are not even the product, just the abandoned carcass". His rather radical essay, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, has been hailed in the Anglo-Saxon world as the first exposure of a new era of capitalism.  To be read to understand how we move from utopia to dystopia and how we can oppose it ?