Advances in the digital revolution can be dazzling. Now, data about where we are, where we’re going, how we’re feeling, what we’re saying are turning into beacons of revenue that illuminate a new commercial prospect. Lights, bells, and whistles have blinded us to the ways that high-tech giants exploit our personal data.
Corporations are mining users’ information to predict and shape their behavior. Here, we’re entering uncharted territory. As a result, no longer can the concept of privacy limit the assault on behavioral data. Now we face a new kind of challenge, one that threatens the political, ideological, and existential basis of a modern liberal order; built upon principles of self-determination that have been developed over centuries. Individual sanctity and social equality; the social development of identity and autonomy; the integrity of contracts, the freedom derived from making and keeping promises; the rules of collective agreements; the functions of market democracy; the political integrity of societies; and the future of democratic sovereignty. All have been threatened in our lives.
In the world, there is a growing concern for government surveillance and the rapid innovation leading technology to spy on our daily lives. An instance where this technology has been used is in the extensive aerial surveillance that has begun being carried out by law enforcement to point out people in crowds. Precincts can scan the contents of millions of social media posts, forwarding crucial information to police departments so agents can track and surveil protests.
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