The Age of Surveillance Capitalism – Summary

EnglishThis section of the website is in English, although the overall site is written in French. Don’t hesitate to visit the rest though, and get in touch if you have questions or want to practice your French!

FrançaisCette section du site est en anglais, car j’ai lu le livre dans cette langue, et qu’il m’a paru compliqué de prendre des notes en français. Si la demande est là, je pourrais potentiellement traduire le tout !

« The Age of Surveillance Capitalism« , by Shoshana Zuboff, has been in the digital zeitgeist since it was first published in 2019 (wikipedia page). Often cited by academics, policy makers, researchers and journalists, its criticism of internet companies’ business models is fierce and has proved itself influential across the industry.

Cover of the book "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism", by Shoshana Zuboff, 2019

But who has time to read a 500-page book these days?!
You’ll find here a chapter by chapter summary of the book’s content.

This summary will necessarily be incomplete, and I therefore highly recommend reading the book in the first place (buy it here in English and here in French). But maybe these notes will help you get interested in the complete text, and help you work up the motivation to read the whole thing.

Additionally, while the notes will probably be a somewhat personal take on the book’s materials, they are not a personal commentary or an opinion piece on the work they propose to summarize. They will probably be tinted by my own experiences and thoughts, especially if and when I disagree with points made by the author.

Nevertheless, I will aim to keep the notes as neutral and representative of Zuboff’s book as possible in this section of the website.

So strap in, and jump into the notes !


Chapter 1 – Intro, not summarized.

Chapter 2 – Setting the stage for Surveillance Capitalism

Chapter 3 – The Discovery of Behavioral Surplus

Chapter 4 – The Moat around the Castle

Chapter 5 – The Elaboration of Surveillance Capitalism: Kidnap, Corner, Compete

Chapter 6 – Hijacked: the Division of Learning in Society


Chapter 7 – The Reality Business