"There was a time when you searched Google, but now Google searches you." - Shoshana Zuboff, The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power
This is a book with profound importance, detailing the ways that our lives and inner selves are being gobbled up by corporations to further manipulate our behavior and make money doing so. As the Guardian review linked puts it
It describes how global tech companies such as Google and Facebook persuaded us to give up our privacy for the sake of convenience; how personal information (“data”) gathered by these companies has been used by others not only to predict our behaviour but also to influence and modify it; and how this has had disastrous consequences for democracy and freedom. This is the “surveillance capitalism” of the title, which Zuboff defines as a “new economic order” and “an expropriation of critical human rights that is best understood as a coup from above”.
But, unfortunately, the material has to be read carefully and digested to appreciate how insidious this age of surveillance capitalism is. And we have a generation of young adults for whom the norm is having their entire lives available on-line for data tracking, without seeing any problem with it or even realizing it's happening. (The extent to which these companies gather information about our lives is vaster than almost anyone imagines, and I'm certainly not exempting myself, as I didn't realize it, either, until reading this book.)
Our right to our inner selves is one of the most fundamental, necessary rights for living a fully realized human existence. And this is now being threatened by the almost entirely unregulated behemoth that is surveillance capitalism, which has annexed all human behavior/experience as substrate for predictative models of our lives. This is not right.