The thing about Surveillance Capitalism


I've been reading the book "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism" by Shoshana Zuboff and though I worked at Google in it's early days, and am actually quoted by her a couple of times, I was not aware of how ubiquitous and systematic the collection of personal data has become. The book offers an extremely bleak view of how that data can be used to not only target advertising, but manipulate and control individuals without their knowledge. 

What I read led me to start working on a series of drawings based on the notion of the "New Panopticon," the unblinking eye that social media and the Internet of Things (IOT) have focused on all of our activities. The iconic image I'm incorporating is a floating eyeball with an iris that reproduces the "G" of the Google logo. "Googly" was an oft-used adjective while I was at the company, so "Googl-Eye" seems an appropriate name for this icon. I shared some of these images with Dr. Zuboff and she seemed to like them.  

If you don't have the time to plow through the whole book, you can find some of the main points here