The "surveillance capitalism" thesis holds that companies spy because
data lets them conduct devastatingly effective influence operations
while racing past regulators who might otherwise rein in their operations.
I believe this gives undue credence to Big Tech's sales literature --
the source of the claims about the power of behavioral advertising to
influence behavior -- while underplaying the role that monopoly and
state surveillance play in both the decay of public discourse and
governmental complacency when it comes to corporate surveillance.
What if Big Tech's ability to command billions for ads have more to do
with cornering markets and eking out marginal gains through targeting,
with stale data being largely useless for commercial purposes -- but
still full of juicy kompromat for greedy state surveillance agencies?
This is a free virtual public talk, with live Q&A session and is part of the
LogicLounge series of public discussions made available by the 32nd
CAV 2020, and the Vienna Center for Logic and Algorithms.