A Contribution to the Discussion on Consumer Sovereignty in the Era of Datafication and Big Data
In this article the author speculates how the phenomena of datafication (meaning quantifying and translating all the elements of reality into data) and Big Data (meaning acquisition, collection, processing and analyzing complex data sets for the purpose of knowledge discovery) affect the sovereignty of the consumer. On one hand the marketing employing Big Data entices with a promise of satisfying (or even anticipating) the desires of consumers. Also, thanks to datafication consumers are provided with better instruments of self-discovery, and to some extent market monitoring. On the other hand, it can be argued, that this sovereignty is an illusion. Using of mentioned instruments makes consumers subjects to permanent surveillance – however, the post-panoptic one. The author concludes that the question of consumer sovereignty in the era of datafication and Big Data cannot be objectively solved, yet certain interpretations of this problem are presented.
Key words: Big Data, datafication, consumer sovereignty, surveillance, panopticonOtwórz Artykuł