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The University of Amsterdam (UvA) is bestowing an honorary doctorate on American social theorist Shoshana Zuboff. Zuboff is receiving the honorary doctorate for her groundbreaking contribution to research into the power of technology conglomerates and the socio-economic consequences of the system of 'surveillance capitalism' they have introduced. The honorary doctorate will be presented during the online celebration of the UvA Dies Natalis on Friday, 8 January 2021.

Prof. Shoshana Zuboff is a pioneer of interdisciplinary research and combines insights from the fields of sociology, social psychology, economics, philosophy and political theory. Zuboff's interdisciplinary approach has enabled her to conduct unique, systematic research on the effects of our growing use of digital technologies, both in the workplace and throughout wider society. Zuboff has authored three books on the relationship between information technology and modern consumer society.

The dangers of digital technologies

'Her incisive and revolutionary book 'The Age of Surveillance Capitalism' explores the consequences of technology, the commercialisation of our data and the lack of regulation on or restrictions to the power of large conglomerates. The book is a masterpiece that has received widespread praise in the popular press,' explains honorary supervisor Edo Roos Lindgreen, professor of Data Science in Auditing. ‘Given the rapid pace of technological progress and ongoing digitisation of our societies, Zuboff’s research and publication can rightly be considered a precursor to the current debate on the threat that digital technologies pose to democracy and human freedoms.', adds honorary supervisor and professor of Ethics and its history, Beate Roessler.

Karen Maex, Rector Magnificus of the UvA: 'The UvA is awarding this position to express its appreciation for Shoshana Zuboff's lifelong commitment to scrutinising and exposing the social impact of technology. Zuboff has a unique understanding of technology, economics and politics and the rare ability to explain the convergence of these domains in an accessible yet profound way. Her unique insights into all aspects of the current effort to regulate our digital society are of unparalleled importance.'

About Shoshana Zuboff

Shoshana Zuboff is the Charles Edward Wilson Professor Emerita at Harvard Business School (US). She was one of the first women to be appointed to a permanent position at Harvard Business School and has also been a faculty associate at Harvard Law School's Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society. Zuboff holds a PhD in social psychology from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Philosophy from the University of Chicago.

Honorary supervisors are Prof. Edo Roos Lindgreen, professor of Data Science in Auditing at the Faculty of Economics and Business, and Prof. Beate Roessler, professor of Ethics and its history at the Faculty of Humanities.

Besides Shoshane Zuboff, Jan Potempa will also be receiving an honorary doctorate from the UvA