Homepage New articles

This 68-year-old scientist has some balls. Shoshana Zuboff fearlessly attacked the biggest technology companies, revealing how they‘ve turned us into a profitable business. Under the guise of providing their services for free, they get much more information out of us than we like to admit. But the real "fun" begins when these data collectors start exchanging or reselling information.

"They have computer factories where artificial intelligence analyzes our behavior, emotions and thoughts. There, our existence is being turned into a business item for companies to sell, and thanks to that they can predict what we‘re going to do in the coming hours, days or weeks," says Shoshana Zuboff, the woman who has become the terror of Google, Facebook and other Internet giants in the last year.

She gives interviews and lectures on how contextual advertising, cookies and other tweaks that target advertisement, showing us clothing or household items based on our interests or web search, have long been obsolete. Now marketers know our current mood, our future decisions, and they also know when to target us with the ads (down to the hour, or even minute). Yes, not only do they know what we want, but also when we are most likely to actually buy it.

¨Cameras can capture our emotions

How can they find out? Shosana cites the ever-increasing number of cameras in the streets, shops, restaurants and office buildings as an example. These cameras are usually owned by private companies, through which real-time recordings can get in the hands of the aforementioned internet giants. Each person has a huge number of facial muscles hidden under the skin that express hundreds of different gestures and emotional moods, depending on how we feel.

Luxusní restaurace na pronájem - Praha 1
Luxusní restaurace na pronájem - Praha 1, Praha 1

Advanced facial recognition technologies can determine exactly how we feel. They are based on data that we voluntarily publish about ourselves by using, for instance, social networks for free. When was the last time you felt great? Maybe on your last vacation in Greece, from which you posted a story on Instagram? You can be sure that they‘lll find a way to find out. We have become a voluntary source of "raw" information about our lives, from which everyone can "extract" exactly what they need.

EU data protection is powerless

Unfortunately, EU legislation can‘t do much about it, even though it has recently shown great effort in significantly reducing the misuse of personal data. But legislation is always one or two steps behind what is happening in the real world. In short, technologies are evolving too fast. What's worse, a huge number of legal measures only work on paper. A typical example is GDPR, which, for example, allows people to refuse consent to the processing of personal data for marketing purposes.

In theory, it sounds great, but unfortunately the reality is that large corporations (banks, mobile operators or giant technology companies) are in such a strong position that they don‘t have to worry about these measures. It is mainly people who want their services. Banks, for example, routinely require marketing approval before signing a mortgage agreement. If you refuse, though, (to which you are entitled under the GDPR), they won‘t give you any mortgage, even if such a procedure is prohibited by an EU regulation. But do you want to spend years fighting in court rooms, when you need to buy a place to live now?

Luxusní byt k pronájmu - Praha 1 - Nové Město
Luxusní byt k pronájmu - Praha 1 - Nové Město, Praha 1

And it's similar on the internet. Both Google and Facebook have billions in their budgets allocated for possible fines from the European Commission and other institutions. For them, it‘s nothing but an accounting item, because by breaking the rules, they can make countless times more money. In other words, they can wipe their… you know what with EU regulations, and no one will really punish them for it. Consider one of the last fines of the European Commission, which was 2.4 billion euros. But in 2018 alone, Google made 136 billion, and besides, they‘ve taken the fine to court in Luxembourg, which can take years to resolve. Do you think that bothers anyone in management? Except perhaps for the lawyers they hired for it...

She investigated in silence what was going on

But let's go back to Shoshana Zuboff and why she's the first person these giants are afraid of. For several years, she was quietly investigating how Facebook and other technology companies worked, and last year she published a groundbreaking book in which she wrote openly about everything. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism thrilled the professional community, shocked ordinary people and terrified Internet giants. In the book, she explains that there is little left of what we‘re doing or thinking that these companies wouldn‘t know about and couldn‘t monetize. And she shows dozens of examples of what is happening and what awaits us.

On several hundred pages, she describes how technology companies are stealthily pushing the boundaries of what they can afford, meeting little to no resistance. And she indicates that right now, new methods are probably already in the trial period, thanks to which they will be able to see even deeper into our heads, and to achieve this goal, they‘ll use everything that surrounds.

And it won‘t be just about cell phones or smart watches. The first scandals have already proven that some TVs or Barbie dolls can recognize speech and "snitch" to the producers, what we‘re talking about in our homes. Thanks to GPS in mobile phones, we disclose where we are, and through card payments, we reveal what‘s missing in our fridge or when we‘re likely to go shopping. By tuning the radio in the car to a different station, we show what we dislike and how long we‘re willing to tolerate it. And depending on which route we choose in our store when shopping, we reveal how much time we have and whether we get impatient easily.

Luxusní byt na prodej Smíchov - Praha 5 - 94m
Luxusní byt na prodej Smíchov - Praha 5 - 94m, Praha 5

Monetized regrets

Imagine a scenario that could soon become reality in the Czech Republic... Lately, you‘ve been neglecting your daughter because of work. Moreover, you‘re stressing our about the deadline of your project, so you „slip“ in the evening and yell at her for nothing or slap her without sufficient reason. The next morning, you‘re miserable about it at work and Facebook finds out. For example because you were frowning when you walked through the reception desk in the morning and it was recorded by a camera or the webcam in your computer.

Facebook already knows your emotions and how they manifest perfectly well, so it prepares a strategy for how to use this knowledge and get money from you. Thanks to the "eavesdropping" doll, ite already knows what toy your daughter would like, because she's been talking about it with a friend. And when you let your daughter watch Paw Patrol on Youtube in the evening, an advertisement for that very toy pops up - and she squals. That's how you find out what would make her happy. And while scrolling down your Facebook wall a few hours later, you suddenly notice a special discount offer for exactly the same toy. Because you regret your earlier behavior, you immediately buy it.

It's easy. And this is how it will work with more than just toys: buying a car, planning a vacation, watching movies, casting election votes, investing in a stock exchange, insurance underwriting, drafting a will... We may naively hold on to the thought that our decisions are free, because these companies will ensure that we do. That's why Shoshana speaks of "supervisory capitalism," a time when we can do anything we think of, but in reality, we're not doing anything that wasn't decided for us.

The important thing is that we don't even notice it and it doesn't affect our lives in any way. Which depends on the angle of view…

Luxury Prague Life

Share / become a fan

Photo gallery (3)

View photo gallery

About the author

David Budai
Luxury Real Estates
Luxusní vila na prodej v Průhonicích
Okolí Prahy

Luxusní vila na prodej v Průhonicích

4 + 1 500 m², ter. 200 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní prvorepubliková vila na prodej v Praze

Luxusní prvorepubliková vila na prodej v Praze

9 + 2 620 m²
price upon request
Show property
Rodinný dům na prodej Praha 4 - Braník - 217m
Praha 4

Rodinný dům na prodej Praha 4 - Braník - 217m

5 + KK 217 m²
21 594 643 CZK
Show property
Luxusní vila na prodej - Praha - západ - 632m
Okolí Prahy

Luxusní vila na prodej - Praha - západ - 632m

6 + KK 632 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní vila na prodej v Šáreckém údolí
Praha 6

Luxusní vila na prodej v Šáreckém údolí

7 + 2 440 m², bal. 5 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní penthouse s terasou Troja 310m
Praha 7

Luxusní penthouse s terasou Troja 310m

6 + KK 310 m², ter. 12 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní penthaus na Praze 1 - 226m
Praha 1

Luxusní penthaus na Praze 1 - 226m

4 + 1 226 m², bal. 7 m², ter. 24 m²
price upon request
Show property
Prodej luxusního bytu Praha 1- 212m
Praha 1

Prodej luxusního bytu Praha 1- 212m

4 + KK 212 m², ter. 7 m²
price upon request
Show property
Byt Smetanovo nábřeží 191m
Praha 1

Byt Smetanovo nábřeží 191m

4 + KK 191 m², bal. 3 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní byt se zahradou na Praze 8 - 346m
Praha 8

Luxusní byt se zahradou na Praze 8 - 346m

4 + KK 146 m², ter. 27 m²
price upon request
Show property
Byt Malá Strana Magenta 31m
Praha 1

Byt Malá Strana Magenta 31m

1 + KK 31 m², bal. 3 m²
price upon request
Show property
Penthouse s výhledem na Hrad na prodej - 288m
Praha 1

Penthouse s výhledem na Hrad na prodej - 288m

5 + 1 288 m², ter. 42 m²
price upon request
Show property
Pronájem luxusního bytu Praha
Praha 4

Pronájem luxusního bytu Praha

4 + KK 246 m², ter. 39 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní byt na pronájem Smetanovo nábřeží 235m
Praha 1

Luxusní byt na pronájem Smetanovo nábřeží 235m

5 + KK 235 m²
69 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady
Praha 2

Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady

2 + KK 53 m², bal. 3 m²
11 850 000 CZK
Show property
Pronájem luxusního bytu s terasami Praha 4
Praha 4

Pronájem luxusního bytu s terasami Praha 4

3 + KK 137 m², ter. 17 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní byt k prodeji - Praha 5 - 93m
Praha 5

Luxusní byt k prodeji - Praha 5 - 93m

3 + KK 93 m², ter. 11 m²
11 258 000 CZK
Show property
Vila na pronájem - Praha 6 - Hanspaulka - 256m
Praha 6

Vila na pronájem - Praha 6 - Hanspaulka - 256m

5 + KK 256 m², bal. 15 m², ter. 24 m²
price upon request
Show property
Pronájem luxusního bytu s terasami Praha 4
Praha 4

Pronájem luxusního bytu s terasami Praha 4

3 + KK 137 m², ter. 17 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní byt na pronájem Na Hřebenkách - Praha
Praha 5

Luxusní byt na pronájem Na Hřebenkách - Praha

4 + KK 199 m², ter. 14 m²
85 500 CZK
Show property
Prodej rodinného domu na Praze 5-191m
Praha 5

Prodej rodinného domu na Praze 5-191m

5 + KK 191 m²
19 850 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady
Praha 2

Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady

2 + KK 53 m², bal. 3 m²
11 980 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady
Praha 2

Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady

2 + KK 57 m²
11 920 000 CZK
Show property
Byt na prodej - Praha 6 - Liboc - 47m
Praha 6

Byt na prodej - Praha 6 - Liboc - 47m

2 + 1 49 m², bal. 2 m²
5 746 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady
Praha 2

Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Vinohrady

3 + KK 93 m², bal. 3 m²
19 960 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní penthouse na prodej Praha
Praha 6

Luxusní penthouse na prodej Praha

4 + 1 242 m², ter. 68 m²
price upon request
Show property
Byt na prodej - Praha 6 - Liboc - 105m
Praha 6

Byt na prodej - Praha 6 - Liboc - 105m

3 + KK 105 m²
10 934 000 CZK
Show property
Byt na prodej - Praha 8 - Libeň - 60m
Praha 8

Byt na prodej - Praha 8 - Libeň - 60m

2 + 1 60 m²
6 589 000 CZK
Show property
Byt na prodej - Praha 8 - Libeň - 73m
Praha 8

Byt na prodej - Praha 8 - Libeň - 73m

2 + 1 73 m²
7 490 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Nové Město
Praha 2

Luxusní byt na prodej - Praha 2 - Nové Město

7 + KK 259 m², ter. 12 m²
price upon request
Show property
Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 1 - 721m
Praha 1

Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 1 - 721m

Atypický 721 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní kancelář na prodej, Praha 1 - 209m2
Praha 1

Luxusní kancelář na prodej, Praha 1 - 209m2

5 + 1 209 m²
price upon request
Show property
Kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 1 - 387m2
Praha 1

Kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 1 - 387m2

Atypický 387 m²
155 000 CZK
Show property
Obchodní prostory k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 280
Praha 8

Obchodní prostory k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 280

Atypický 280 m²
price upon request
Show property
Obchodní prostory k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 70
Praha 8

Obchodní prostory k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 70

Atypický 70 m²
price upon request
Show property
Restaurace k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 519
Praha 8

Restaurace k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 519

Atypický 721 m², ter. 202 m²
price upon request
Show property
Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 446
Praha 8

Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 446

Atypický 446 m²
price upon request
Show property
Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 332
Praha 8

Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 332

Atypický 332 m²
price upon request
Show property
Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 361
Praha 8

Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 361

Atypický 361 m²
price upon request
Show property
Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 483
Praha 8

Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 483

Atypický 483 m²
price upon request
Show property
Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 249
Praha 8

Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 249

Atypický 249 m²
price upon request
Show property
Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 490
Praha 8

Moderní kanceláře k pronájmu, Praha 8 - 490

Atypický 490 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní byt na pronájem Staré Město - 212m
Praha 1

Luxusní byt na pronájem Staré Město - 212m

6 + KK 212 m², bal. 5 m²
90 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní kancelář na prodej Nové Město - 109 m²
Praha 1

Luxusní kancelář na prodej Nové Město - 109 m²

3 + KK 109 m²
17 995 000 CZK
Show property
Prodej luxusní administrativní budovy v Praze
Praha 6

Prodej luxusní administrativní budovy v Praze

966 m²
42 000 000 CZK
Show property
Obchodní prostor na prodej, Staré Město - 215

Obchodní prostor na prodej, Staré Město - 215

215 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní byt na pronájem s výhledem na řeku
Praha 1

Luxusní byt na pronájem s výhledem na řeku

3 + 1 94 m²
34 900 CZK
Show property
Prodej luxusní administrativní budovy v okolí
Praha 9

Prodej luxusní administrativní budovy v okolí

5 + 2 1173 m²
price upon request
Show property
Obchodní prostor na prodej na Praze 8 - Karlín
Praha 8

Obchodní prostor na prodej na Praze 8 - Karlín

Atypický 489 m², ter. 211 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní vila na prodej Braník -217m
Praha 4

Luxusní vila na prodej Braník -217m

5 + KK 217 m²
22 396 514 CZK
Show property
Rodinný dům na prodej - Praha 4 - Braník
Praha 4

Rodinný dům na prodej - Praha 4 - Braník

5 + KK 217 m²
21 365 218 CZK
Show property
Luxusní byt v Troji 149m
Praha 7

Luxusní byt v Troji 149m

3 + KK 149 m²
21 800 000 CZK
Show property
Luxusní byt na prodej na Praze 5 -115m
Praha 5

Luxusní byt na prodej na Praze 5 -115m

3 + KK 115 m²
price upon request
Show property
Prodej luxusní vily v okolí Prahy
Praha 9

Prodej luxusní vily v okolí Prahy

5 + 2 1173 m²
price upon request
Show property
Byt v historické budově Praha 6 - 210m
Praha 6

Byt v historické budově Praha 6 - 210m

4 + KK 210 m²
price upon request
Show property
Luxusní byt s terasami Hřebenky - 251m
Praha 5

Luxusní byt s terasami Hřebenky - 251m

5 + KK 251 m², bal. 26 m²
price upon request
Show property
Supermakléřky - real estate comics