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According to Silkie Carlo, director of Big Brother Watch and a supporter of this society, it is no longer a viable option simply to call for stricter regulations to curb the ingress of surveillance capitalism into the furthest reaches of our daily lives. Advising internet users to uninstall Facebook, or governments mandating more frequent and intrusive popups, are two indications that private individuals and policy makers are beginning to realize the gravity of this spread. Unfortunately, the fact of the matter is that surveillance and, therefore, incursions into privacy are so interwoven as part of the fabric of our contemporary lives that purely reactionary measures are no longer sufficient; to effectively combat the more pernicious effects of technological change, it is imperative to develop long-term, forward-looking policy.
The PIMS think tank proposed is a student-run research institute with the aim of beginning to fashion a socio-politico-ethical map for the future of a world that can negotiate with sophistication the coexistence of privacy and surveillance capitalism. It is difficult to predict the future; in order to make it likely that one’s hoped-for result is realised, the best one can do is to base one’s policy decisions on a strong, sound, and well-informed basis. In a way comparable to the influence of political philosophers on the efforts of the Constitutional Convention, we intend for the PIMS society to act as a shaping force on future decisions in this area of concern; the research outcomes of the think tank will take the form of papers, articles, and expositions aiming to provide answers to the pressing philosophical and moral questions regarding the intersection of surveillance and society.
technology and innovation