Surveillance Capitalism and Privacy: Exploring Explanations for the Failure of Privacy to Contest Surveillance Capitalism and the Implications for Democracy

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Surveillance Capitalism and Privacy: Exploring Explanations for the Failure of Privacy to Contest Surveillance Capitalism and the Implications for Democracy

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Publication Bachelor thesis
Title Surveillance Capitalism and Privacy: Exploring Explanations for the Failure of Privacy to Contest Surveillance Capitalism and the Implications for Democracy
Author Wohnhas, Lukas
Date 2019
English abstract
This paper explores the tension between privacy and surveillance capitalism and seeks to give explanations why privacy is not effective in limiting the influence of surveillance capitalism on personal autonomy and democracy. The methodology involves a deconstructive reading of the theories of privacy and surveillance capitalism. The analysis finds that there are (I) lacking means to control one’s subjection to data extraction that lead to a loss of privacy and autonomy, (II) social, psychological, or cultural influences determine the conception of privacy, (III) privacy management is individualistic and needs transparency of data-processing to function, and (IV) what constitutes a private situation is dependent on existing norms. The analysis further establishes that the foundation of democracy is at risk when privacy, and as such personal autonomy, are threatened. The analysis utilizes, among others, ideas of Marx and Foucault to explain the weakness of privacy. The findings suggest that the threat posed by surveillance capitalism towards autonomy and democracy should be framed as problem of liberty instead of privacy.
Publisher Malmö universitet/Kultur och samhälle
Language eng (iso)
Subject surveillance capitalism
privacy
autonomy
democracy
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/29218 Permalink to this page
Link to publication in DiVA Find this research publication in DiVA (n/a for student publ.)
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