11th Annual BCLT Privacy Lecture

Conference/Symposium | March 14 | 3-6:30 p.m. |  International House

 Berkeley Center for Law & Technology (BCLT)

Professor Shoshana Zuboff, author of The Age of Surveillance Capitalism (January 2019), joined the Harvard Business School faculty in 1981. One of the first tenured women at the school, she was the Charles Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration. Her career has been devoted to the study of the rise of the digital, its individual, organizational, and social consequences, and its relationship to the history and future of capitalism.

What is the problem? Not technology… not a corporation… The problem is surveillance capitalism, a new logic of capital accumulation that founds a burgeoning surveillance-based economic order. Surveillance capitalism originates in the unilateral claim to human experience as the source of free raw material for its hidden commercial practices, including the extraction of behavioral data, the fabrication of those data into predictions of human behavior, and the sale of those prediction products in new behavioral futures markets. Surveillance capitalism is a born-digital market form governed by novel and even startling economic imperatives that produce unprecedented asymmetries of knowledge and power. The stark new social inequalities that characterize this market project enable new forms of economic and social domination, while challenging human autonomy, elemental and established human rights, including the right to privacy, and the most basic precepts of a democratic society....

What is to be done? Surveillance capitalism and its discontents must be named in order to be tamed. This is our new collective challenge. Ultimately our fate and that of generations to follow depend upon asserting democratic control over the essential questions of the division of learning in society. Who knows? Who decides? Who decides who decides? How will we answer?

Commentary by:

Professor Maria Brincker, Associate Professor of Philosophy, University of Massachusetts, Boston
Maria Brincker is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She has published on a range of topics having to do with concrete aspects of our sensorimotor embodiment and our social and technological embeddedness and how these dynamically shape our minds and agency. She holds a PhD from the CUNY Graduate Center and was previously an Arts and Neuroscience Fellow at the Italian Academy at Columbia University.

Professor Brett Frischmann, Charles Widger Endowed University Professor in Law, Business and Economics, Villanova University Law School
Professor Frischmann is a renowned scholar in intellectual property and internet law. Before coming to Villanova, he was director of the Cardozo Intellectual Property and Information Law Program (2011-2016) and the Microsoft Visiting Professor of Information and Technology Policy at Princeton University. Professor Frischmann’s work has appeared in leading scholarly publications, including Columbia Law Review, University of Chicago Law Review, and Review of Law and Economics. He recently published Re-Engineering Humanity (Cambridge University Press 2018) with philosopher Evan Selinger.

 bclt@law.berkeley.edu, 510-642-8073