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Big Tech Is Watching – and Being Watched

The rapid rise of today’s Silicon Valley giants, and the apparent power they wield over social and political life, suggest that we have entered a new epoch of economic history. If so, where is the digital revolution heading, and how might it be harnessed for the public good?

CAMBRIDGE – The maturation of the digital revolution has defined the first two decades of the twenty-first century. The central economic disasters of this period – the 2008 global financial crisis and consequent “Great Recession” – were driven by the proliferation of digital securities and the illusion that digital programs could measure and manage their attendant risks. And the social environment in which individuals consume information and execute transactions has been reconstructed according to the terms set by Amazon, Apple, Google, and Facebook.