John Naughton in ‘The goal is to automate us’: welcome to the age of surveillance capitalism:

The combination of state surveillance and its capitalist counterpart means that digital technology is separating the citizens in all societies into two groups: the watchers (invisible, unknown and unaccountable) and the watched. This has profound consequences for democracy because asymmetry of knowledge translates into asymmetries of power. But whereas most democratic societies have at least some degree of oversight of state surveillance, we currently have almost no regulatory oversight of its privatised counterpart.

It seems like this year is starting off with a slew of articles about how bad everything has become online. Usually I’d try to strategically stick my head in the sand, but it feels like a sea change is coming in the collective importance society places on privacy.

Rian van der Merwe Product manager • Designer • Speaker