Surveillance capitalism

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Surveillance capitalism is a concept popularised by Shoshana Zuboff, through articles and her book The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power. More can be read about it on Wikipedia.

Crucial to us is her insistance on:

  • naming things, which we address by using a semantic knowledge base (which enables us to assign names to complex concepts, and even better enables us to empower others to define their own interoperable vocabularies).
  • who decides who decides: Zuboff argues that surveillance capitalism sees a shift in who controls information, to the extent that some decide who gets to decide. While we do centralize information about the personal data ecosystem, through our use of Wikibase, we can remain agnostic (to some extent) on the governance necessary for the curation of these vocabularies and their interoperability standards (we flatten the description of the web, so others can get together and build more complex views).