Corporate Power in a Digital World

22 June 2015, 14:00 - 16:00

Room S1, Alison Richard Building

Professor John Naughton

Abstract 

Two aspects of ‘power’ are important in a networked world. One is the coercive, surveillance and other power exercised by states. The other is that wielded by the handful of large digital corporations that have come to dominate the Internet over the last two decades. Corporate power is the main focus of this talk, which explores a number of interrelated questions: What exactly is the nature of the power wielded by digital corporations? How does it differ from the kinds of power wielded by other, non-digital corporations? In what ways is it—or might it be—problematic? And are the legislative tools possessed by states for the regulation of corporate power fit for purpose in a digital era?

Speaker 

John Naughton is a Senior Research Fellow in CRASSH , Emeritus Professor of the Public Understanding of Technology at the Open University and the technology columnist of The Observer. He is (with Sir Richard Evans and David Runciman) co-director of the Leverhulme ‘Conspiracy and Democracy’ research project, and (with David Runciman) co-director of the ‘Technology and Democracy’ project in the Centre for Digital Knowledge in CRASSH . His most recent book, From Gutenberg to Zuckerberg: what you really need to know about the Internet is published by Quercus.

 

This three-year, philanthropically-funded project is exploring the implications of the digital revolution for democracy. It is based in the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH) in the University of Cambridge and is led by Professor John Naughton and Professor David Runciman.