4AAVC101 - week 8

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These are my notes from November 14 for 4AAVC101 at King's College London for the 2017-2018 school year. The lecturer, Nick Srnicek, is the author of two excellent books at the intersection of technology and leftist politics: Inventing the Future (with Alex Williams), and Platform Capitalism.

The usual disclaimer: all notes are my personal impressions and do not necessarily reflect the view of the lecturer.

The data industry


Networks of control by Wolfie Christl and Sarah Spiekermann (chapter 5)

A report from 2016 (link to PDF). A very long and thorough chapter on the data broker industry. Proposes an interesting concept: customer lifetime risk (analogous to CLV) resulting from corporations using our personal data in ways we may not anticipate (and which may harm us). Goes into the problems with hashed email addresses (they lull you into a decidedly false sense of security) which I thought was right on the money since I’ve come to similar conclusions myself while dealing with customer/partner-provided hashed emails at Macromeasures … Overall, excellent report & very uncanny to read given how much of this world I had to see in firsthand through Macro :/

The like economy by Carolin Gerlitz and Anne Helmond

On the one-way flow of data (esp likes/shares) from users (for tracking + popularity metrics) & how that’s walled off in Facebookland.