Civics: Don’t wait for the government to fix surveillance capitalism. It’s up to us.

Sauvik Das:

Don’t wait for the government to fix privacy. Any attempt to curtail and reverse the growing power of surveillance capitalism will have to start from us — the people — through grassroots mobilization.


Institutions in power do not willingly give up their power — it must be wrested from them. And, make no mistake, unilateral control over the collection and processing of personal data is one of the strongest emergent forms of power in the information age. It is the lifeblood of a trillion dollar global industry.

Sometimes a government that serves the people can be trusted do this wresting, assuming the privacy-violating institution is not the government itself. For example, anti-trust regulation can prevent the formation of exploitative corporate monopolies.

Not so when it comes to the protection of personal data. At least not yet.