William Davies is Reader in Political Economy at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Co-Director of the Political Economy Research Centre. His latest book is Nervous States: How feeling took over the world, and the edited collection Economic Science Fictions.
Data is often described as the new oil. Technology companies are the gatekeepers of this wealth of information; many also own the algorithms and artificial intelligence required to extract and refine it. In the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, is “surveillance capitalism” simply the business model of the internet? What is its effect on journalism and democracy, and our understanding of truth itself?