"A child's learning is the function more of the characteristics of his classmates than those of the teacher." James Coleman, 1972

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Surveillance Capitalism and Your Children

There are thousands of rapacious and predatory gatherers of data out there waiting to collect and sell your information and your children's information, whether it is behavioral, economic, intellectual, social, geographic, nutritional, and even emotional in nature.

Follow this link (hat tip to Alison McDowell) to read about this newest form of capitalist predation.  Here is a clip:
There was a time when we laid responsibility for the assault on behavioral data at the door of the state and its security agencies.  Later, we also blamed the cunning practices of a handful of banks, data brokers, and Internet companies. Some attribute the assault to an inevitable  “age of big data,” as if it were possible to conceive of data born pure and blameless, data suspended in some celestial place where facts sublimate into truth.

Capitalism has been hijacked by surveillance

I’ve come to a different conclusion:  The assault we face is driven in large measure by the exceptional appetites of a wholly new genus of capitalism, a systemic coherent new logic of accumulation that I call surveillance capitalism. Capitalism has been hijacked by a lucrative surveillance project that subverts the “normal” evolutionary mechanisms associated with its historical success and corrupts the unity of supply and demand that has for centuries, however imperfectly, tethered capitalism to the genuine needs of its populations and societies, thus enabling the fruitful expansion of market democracy.
 And below is an intro to an innocent sounding  Google app called StackUp that collects and stores all your students' internet activity so that students can get "credit" for all their reading. Hey--it even claims to know if they are reading or if the page is just open.

Or have a look at this ad for Affectiva.  Sounds like a new child doping tool, right?  Well, it's a company that is using observational data via webcams to collect, analyze, and interpret facial expressions to "quanitfy emotion" and use this information to develop product lines.

Parents, teachers, and students can stop this massive intrusion, but it will take education and organization. 

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