Logic Lounge

Note that this event is a free public lecture open to everyone!

Cory Doctorow

Time: Tuesday, July 21, 08:00-09:00 PST;

Location: Virtual! (i.e. Zoom for CAV participants)

Event Page and Event Registration

A recording of the talk can be found here

Title: Working as Intended: Surveillance Capitalism is not a Rogue Capitalism

Abstract: With every click and keystroke in the world wide web we produce an abundance of data, voluntarily or not. Big Tech companies are providing free services that billions of people use, which in turn enables them to monitor the behaviour of their users in astonishing detail — and very often without their explicit consent. This new form of capitalism that found a way to use tech for its purposes has recently been named “Surveillance capitalism” — companies spy because data allows them to influence their operations for their benefit in a devastatingly effective way.

However, what if Big Tech’s ability to command billions for ads have more to do with cornering markets and eking out marginal gains through targeting, with stale data being largely useless for commercial purposes — but still full of juicy kompromat for greedy state surveillance agencies?

Bio: Cory Doctorow is a science fiction novelist, journalist, and technology activist, working as a special advisor for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, after serving as a European director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit civil liberties group that defends freedom in technology law, policy, standards, and treaties.

He holds an honorary doctorate in computer science from the Open University (UK), where he is a Visiting Professor; he is also a MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate and a Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of South Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science. In 2007, he served as the Fulbright Chair at the Annenberg Center for Public Diplomacy at the University of Southern California.

His novels have been translated into dozens of languages and are published by Tor Books, Head of Zeus (UK), Titan Books (UK) and HarperCollins (UK). He has won the Locus, Prometheus, Copper Cylinder, White Pine and Sunburst Awards, and been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula and British Science Fiction Awards.

He co-founded the open source peer-to-peer software company OpenCola, and serves on the boards and advisory boards of the Participatory Culture Foundation, the Clarion Foundation, the Open Technology Fund and the Metabrainz Foundation. Cory Doctorow is also the co-founder of the UK Open Rights Group.


The LogicLounge is hosted by the 32nd International Conference on
Computer-Aided Verification (CAV) and organized by Aina Niemetz and Mathias Preiner of Stanford University in collaboration with the Vienna Center for Logic and Algorithms at TU Wien (VCLA).