🚜 The Guardian view on digital giants: they farm us for the data


“The product they’re selling is data, and we, the users, convert our lives to data for the benefit of the digital giants. Just as some ants farm aphids for the honeydew that oozes from them when they feed, so Google farms us for the data that our digital lives exude. Ants keep predatory insects away from where their aphids feed; Gmail keeps the spammers out of our inboxes. It doesn’t feel like a human or democratic relationship, even if both sides benefit.”


This is mainstream acknowledgement that the business model of Silicon Valley companies like Google and Facebook is people farming. This is what we’ve been saying for ages and it’s good to see that people are starting to listen and understand.

For background, see: https://ar.al/notes/the-nature-of-the-self-in-the-digital-age

For how we can build technology ethically, without people farming, see: https://ar.al/notes/encouraging-individual-sovereignty-and-a-healthy-commons

To help us foster the alternative in Europe, join us at DiEM25: https://ar.al/notes/towards-an-internet-of-people-with-diem25 and https://ar.al/notes/diem25-internet-of-people-launch-in-berlin/

(And if you happen to be in Hamburg on July 7th, I will be there alongside other members of DiEM25 to present some constructive disobedience at the G20 summit. Join us: DiEM25@G20: Constructive Disobedience! Resistance in the Age of Surveillance Capitalism)