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Zero: Sie wissen, was du tust

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  3,208 ratings  ·  251 reviews
Wer sich im Netz bewegt, für den gibt es kein Entkommen.

London. Bei einer Verfolgungsjagd wird ein Junge erschossen. Sein Tod führt die Journalistin Cynthia Bonsant zu der gefeierten Internetplattform Freemee. Diese sammelt und analysiert Daten – und verspricht dadurch ihren Millionen Nutzern ein besseres Leben und mehr Erfolg. Nur einer warnt vor Freemee und vor der Macht
Paperback, 496 pages
Published October 17th 2016 by Blanvalet Taschenbuch Verlag (first published May 23rd 2014)
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,208 ratings  ·  251 reviews

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Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ironically enough, a couple of days before I started this book, I purchased a tracker watch. Would I have still bought it after reading this book, I honestly don't know? I have it set to remind me to try do 250 steps every hour and I did chuckle when it flashed up that I only needed 20-odd steps for my hour and I duly got up and had a wander.
What has this got to do with anything...? Well, it forms the crux of what is happening in this book. Instead of data miners stealing data from internet foo
Jul 29, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Currently, it feels like a day can’t go by without a new technology related scandal appearing in our headlines. Everyone from Facebook and Cambridge Analytica, to corrupt foreign governments are having a go at manipulating data to further their own ends. We live in an information age, where data is collateral, and every aspect of our lives is available for analysis. I’ll admit to being fascinated and terrified about this prospect in equal measure. A thriller that explores how information can be ...more
Clare O'Beara
This is a technothriller using the premise that monitoring data, be it self-monitoring or otherwise, is catching on and becoming valuable. Firms collecting this data start to try to influence what they monitor, and control people's minds and actions. A mysterious hacker group called Zero is opposed.

The central characters are a female journalist and her teen daughter and that daughter's friends. Of course the younger folks are more with it and are leading the way before the journalist even realis
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, sf
The ideas in this novel really deserved a better writer.

The wholesale exploitation of personal data, pervasive surveillance, and erosion of privacy in our current social media-swamped world provide ample themes and ideas for a profound, philosophically intense, thought-provoking, fascinating book. Sadly, Zero is not that book.

Capitalizing on the succes of Blackout (which is an only slightly better book), Elsberg seems to have gathered up all the ideas and technological possibilities his choice o
Gerrit Beine
Hm, it's quite ok, but far away from Blackout.

The story seems to be not really well planned. The perspective on IT is not very realistic. Sometimes IT is described in a very naive way, sometimes IT is allmighty.

See also: Marc Elsberg: Zero on my blog.
Jan 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopia
This book is too preoccupied in presenting/explaining all technology in most 'clickbait-y', shocking and fear-mongering way (parts which I, due to being a professional, mostly skipped out of boredom) to actually come up with an interesting plot. ...more
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is scary and makes you revaluate your use of social media. It fits in these current times perfectly. The writing is fast paced and highly entertaining.
Book Inspector
Living with a complete geek, I learned to love technology. It is kind of mesmerizing how technology is taking over our lives, that is why I was very intrigued by the blurb of this book. After reading the book, I am kind of petrified of how much of our personal data is actually collected without our knowledge… Or maybe because of our ignorance?

The protagonist in this novel is Cynthia, a single mother and investigative journalist, who lives in London. I really liked, how realistic the main charac
Mars Dorian
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well researched new-future thriller about companies and governments collecting all of our data and using it to manipulate our lives.

The story is solid and becomes Hollywood-ish toward the end. The prose is solid but lacks style and originality. Still, it's easy to follow and doesn't distract from the plot.

The dialogue is the definition of info-dropping. People only talk to each other to reveal information they should already know: "Remember when we...", "You know that this...", etc.

Markus Pe
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, utopia
Although I knew the facts, the "theoretical" connections and applications blew my mind (and made me even more paranoid - which is a good thing considering todays possibilites) ...more
Zoé-lee O'farrell
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2018
I do not want to write this review, I mean I really do not want to write this review….anyone could be watching me!!!! This book has made me rethink a lot of things to do with my phone, social media etc. always being watched by “Big brother”. The information on how we are being watched and glasses that could tell you about another person just by looking at them is just a little bit terrifying!

Freemee, the competitor to Facebook, is a new site you can sign up for, it is a lifestyle app. It can te
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a feeling that M. Elsberg's book was written as an educational tool rather than for entertainment. There were moments where I found it difficult to grasp the logic (i.e. it wasn't convincing enough for me) and as the plot became denser, quicker at times... I got lost once or twice. All in all it is an interesting read. ...more
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast-paced, made me think a lot about our future and how we could prevent a scenario like this (came to the conclusion that we can't)
loved the action bits, although some scenes are a bit far-fetched
Ashwini Abhyankar
I was given an e-ARC of the book from the publishers at NetGalley in return of an honest review.

When I requested this book from NetGalley, I wasn’t really sure how it was going to be. I mean, of course, the basics of the plot were there, sort of. I wasn’t aware that this book was already published in German and this was to be a translated edition but that does not really affect my review, I think.

In an age where almost all of our interactions with people or sometimes even businesses with people
Jul 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

We meet Cyn, a reporter at a small paper who is tasked with researching the huge company behind the hugely successful app provider called Freemee. She is given a pair of smart glasses which she can link to her phone. These glasses can show her an incredible amount of detail about any person at any time. Their name, address, any previous criminal records etc.

The idea behind Freemee is that it will be an all encompassing app for every aspect of your life to help you become the best version of you.
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was like salted caramel with not enough salt. I've finished it but was left with a feeling that it was not what I paid for. I thought for a long time why the book left me disappointed.

"Zero" is a 'technothriller' with the technology of constant surveillance, spying without consent and the abuse and misuse of the big data serving as the 'techno' background. This is just down my alley as these issues are very important to me. Pretty much all the technologies described in the book exist
Dec 09, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read the english translation by Simon Pare.
This book starts out strong, Zero is a very interesting Anonymous type group going after the President with camera drones, imagining it as Trump makes the scene hugely enjoyable. Zero makes a video of the attack & suddenly Zero is the most wanted terrorist organisation in the world.
Cynthia Bonsant is an english journalist from the old days of print, struggling to survive in the new digital media. She was watching the attack from her newsroom at the
Jan 25, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read the English version of this 'Global Bestseller' and got three quarters the way through before I gave up in disgust. It's a GREAT premise and immensely topical, and I'm not sure if it is the English translation or the original author's style that was the problem.
The story focuses on social media, data collection, privacy (or loss of it) and the way we are being manipulated by the data merchants of the world. The ideas are good but the execution of the story is what I struggled with. I can
Zero is a technology-focused thriller about data, privacy, and software trying to change people's lives. Journalist Cynthia Bonsant knows little about technology, but when her daughter is tied up in a criminal chase that results in a friend's death, the answers lead back to Freemee, a lifestyle app that collects users' data and tries to improve their lives. At the same time, mysterious activist Zero is posting videos online warning about data and Freemee. As Cynthia gets caught up further in thi ...more
Katherine Reads Books
Zero is a story of a journalist, Cynthia, who is a single mother to a young adult, Violet. Cynthia is ignorant of social media and technological influence. However, Violet is very much on the button. Violet, like the majority of her peers, is a member of Freeme. Freeme is a social media platform whereby you can gather data on yourself and sell it. Consequently, Freeme places a price on everyone, and this price varies upon many factors, including wealth, social status and employment. Furthermore, ...more
Erna Kindli
Jul 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another enjoyable and thought-provoking read from Elsberg.
Just like in Blackout, he calls our attention to the dark side of today’s technological development 👌🤓

In Blackout, he picked our dependence on electricity. This time, it’s our tech- and smartphone addiction. He shows the potential risks via a thriller-crime story.

Reality is intertwined with fiction in Zero. The main message is probably that we are not safe from surveillance and manipulation techniques. These always mean power. It’s almost
Aug 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Zero is a gripping thriller about a very delicate issue we experience today: the oligopoly of a few IT giants and the ever-increasing control on the masses. The audiobook version, read by actor Bradley James (who plays king Arthur in the tv series Merlin) it's even more intriguing. We follow three "sides", all of which have their own mission. The Daily newspapers hunts Zero. Zero wants to destroy the credibility of the social media giants and awaken people. Freemee wants to stop anyone getting i ...more
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I someone managed to forget this one after a recent book binge, although this wasn't because it was boring, just not groundbreaking. It was a fast paced thriller, capturing the insidious tech companies' language of self-improvement quite accurately, and a good range of characters from imperfect to horrid. My main issue was the bad guys' plan was a bit too much like a James Bond world domination plot, but there was also the oft-ignored contradiction that if everyone is on a platform to self-impro ...more
May 07, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good job on putting together different technologies that are being used right now, or might be in the near future. It is very clearly explained how those things work and how they can be used by malicious people and influence our lifes (or are influencing already).

However, the plot itself is very average, it feels that it has been created just as a tool for explaining those technological things and present how they can be dangerous, as a vehicle to get to the point of showing us "see, this c
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, netgalley
If you do a quick Google search of yourself what are the results…? A link to your Facebook page, LinkedIn? An old news article? Images of yourself? Information that any stranger could easily find. How easily have you given away your information? How easily have you been bought? ZERO is based in a future that could become our reality, where people sell their information, stream their lives and follow recommendations from apps to increase their worth. But is it worth it? This is a great read full ...more
Sep 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Freeme is an Act App on your mobile. It collects all possible data from you, your friends, people around, any sensor available and analyze these to provide you continuous coaching on everything you do. Ultimate goal is to be more happy, more effectibe, more rich etc. But things start to go wrong: a man dies in the street, and then few other events invite journalist Cynthia to start investigate. Is this paranoia or reality? is this today's world already where google, facebook, twitter and other a ...more
Mar 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller
A quick read with a lot of contemporary context (as of spring 2018 / Facebook scandal). As with Blackout the setting is fascinating, because it feels just real enough to be convincing and thus horrifying.

The problem with this book is the actual plot which is relatively shallow. The whole story revolves around one side trying to keep a statistical correlation secret which for some reason nobody has discovered yet (except of course a heroine journalist and her stereotypical superhacker sidekick).
It’s scary to think just how much data is out there that gets sold and used and resold. Like The Circle, this book is also a cautionary tale about the perils of so much technology, and our ever-diminishing right to privacy.

While the content was great and thought provoking, I found it difficult to get into the story. I’m not sure if it was the writing or something getting lost in the translation, but I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped.

Thank you to Marc Elsberg, Random House (Doubleday) and
Michael O'Donnell
An acceptable read that could not be considered good.

This was a diatribe against /description of the Surveillance State. Both commercial and public.

Long descriptions of the tools and methods detracted from the story telling.

The horror and outrage expressed by the main character seemed naive and forced.

There is little new except the impact of freely available facial recognition software.

The social media influence of peoples lives and malevolent manipulation of outcomes is already present and
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
Hm I'm disappointed...
I truly had high expectations and unfortunately I've been deceived.
The initial plot was quite interesting and original but then the author went into detailing stuff that do not catch my interest. The incorporation of too many characters made the story messier. I was often getting lost between them or was bored when the unnecessary characters appeared. It's probably a book which needs to be read twice to fully grasp it but I won't do it anytime soon.
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Marc Elsberg is the pseudonym of Marcus Rafelsberger.

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“Schließlich sind da draußen alle auf Menschenjagd. Banken, Kreditkartenfirmen, Supermärkte, Autohersteller, Kleiderproduzenten, alle, Suchmaschinen, so nennen sich manche Internetgiganten sogar.” 3 likes
“Wir sind ahlt so aufgewachsen. Mobiltelefone und das Internet kamen vor meiner Geburt in die Welt. Eure Generation hat diese Welt für uns gebastelt. Wir waren das nicht. Also regt euch nicht darüber auf.” 1 likes
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