Roger McNamee is the author of Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe. He is joined by Lawrence Lessig, the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership at Harvard Law School.
Facebook, Google and other internet platforms employ a business model – surveillance capitalism – that is undermining public health, democracy, privacy, and innovation in unprecedented ways. They use persuasive technology to manipulate attention for profit and they use surveillance to build data sets with the goal of influencing user behavior.
The negative externalities of internet platforms are analogous to those of medicine in the early 20th century and chemicals in the mid-20th century, situations that required substantial regulatory intervention.