Corporate Surveillance

The Issue

While discussion of surveillance traditionally focuses on governments, the most pervasive surveillance of individuals is by corporations, made possible by new technologies and corporate business practices. These are largely invisible to those whose data are collected. The purpose is to predict and modify human behaviour to produce revenue and market dominance. The data are often used for other purposes, including aiding state surveillance.

Why It Matters

Pervasive surveillance of every aspect of our lives challenges long-standing social norms of privacy and individual rights and gives enormous power to those organizations able to make everyday lives transparent to themselves while rendering their own practices increasingly invisible to those whose data they are appropriating. At the same time, individuals become increasingly reliant on the new information and communication tools for social participation, thereby increasing their transparency and dependency. 

Our Work

The Centre for Free Expression facilitates public discussion and research on corporate surveillance, its impacts, the implications for democratic practice and individual rights, and the alternatives.

Resources

Podcast

Take Control of Algorithms, Data, and Infrastructure

#2 in CFE Series: Taming Big Tech: Exploring the Alternatives

Meredith Whittaker​ - In Conversation with Andrew Clement

Podcast

How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism: Seize the Means of Computation

#1 in CFE Series: Taming Big Tech: Exploring the Alternatives

Cory Doctorow - In Conversation with Andrew Clement​

Past Event

Take Control of Algorithms, Data, and Infrastructure

#2 in CFE Series: Taming Big Tech: Exploring the Alternatives

Meredith Whittaker​ - In Conversation with Andrew Clement​

Past Event

How to Destroy Surveillance Capitalism: Seize the Means of Computation

#1 in CFE Series: Taming Big Tech: Exploring the Alternatives - Cory Doctorow - In Conversation with Andrew Clement​

Blog Post

Commercial DNA Technologies, Algorithmic Tools, & Secrecy Threaten Fairness in Trials

The increasingly rapid rate of technological innovation has disrupted many spheres of life, but few with higher stakes than forensic evidence.

By Tamir Israel