Magazine article New Internationalist

It's a Faustian Pact, but Hell Seems a Long Way Away

Magazine article New Internationalist

It's a Faustian Pact, but Hell Seems a Long Way Away

Article excerpt

'Yes, but personally, I don't mind,' said a good friend and dedicated Facebook user. We had been talking about privacy on the internet and the ever-increasing power of the digital giants.

My friend's approach is undoubtedly shared by many of us, who make regular use of efficient and immensely successful services like Google, Facebook and Amazon - the main companies that feature in this month's Big Story. We have traded our privacy for something we find useful and put on hold our support for ethical shopping in exchange for the ease of low (or no) price and almost-instant gratification. It's a Faustian pact, alright... and hell may be nearer than we think.

I have been surprised, while working on this month's Big Story, just how far down the line we are; how deeply exploitative and anti-democratic is this new 'surveillance capitalism' under which we now live. …

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