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ISBN: 9781487008055-01

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The Market for Our Minds


From: Reset


Chapter 1 explores the economic engine that underlies social media: the personal data surveillance economy. Social media platforms describe themselves in many different, seemingly benign ways: “wiring the world,” “connecting friends and family members,” “all the world’s information at your fingertips,” and so on. And on the surface, they often live up to the billing. But regardless of how they present themselves, social media have one fundamental aim: to monitor, archive, analyze, and market as much personal information as they can from those who use their platforms.



Ronald J. Deibert

Ronald J. Deibert is professor of Political Science and director of the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto. The Citizen Lab undertakes interdisciplinary research at the intersection of global security, information and communications technologies, and human rights. The research outputs of the Citizen Lab are routinely covered in global media, including more than two dozen reports that received exclusive front-page coverage in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and other global media over the past decade. Deibert is the author of Black Code: Surveillance, Privacy, and the Dark Side of the Internet, as well as numerous books, chapters, articles, and reports on internet censorship, surveillance, and cybersecurity. In 2013, he was appointed to the Order of Ontario and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal, for being “among the first to recognize and take measures to mitigate growing threats to communications rights, openness, and security worldwide."