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New Articles and Blog Posts
The New Yorker: Why Do We Care So Much About Privacy? (June 2018)
In this opinion article published in the New Yorker, Louis Menand writes about the legal history of privacy in the United States in a light and digestible manner.
To illustrate different views and developments in privacy history, Menand cites both recent examples – such as Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal in 2016 – and older ones – such as the coining of the term ‘privacy’ by Samuel Warren and Louis Brandeis in 1890.
Menand argues that the real issue behind privacy is ‘liberty’ – a failure to respect privacy corresponds to a lack of freedom to “choose what to do with your body, or who can see your personal information, or who can monitor your movements and record your calls”.
On top of that, Menand affirms that privacy breaches are not a product of the Information Age but that they have always existed and have always been motivated by the same factors: corporate profit and national security.
Menand’s views cannot go unproblematized. What is liberty after all? Can one ever be free from the external gazer and influence? These are difficult questions that have been thoroughly explored in academia. But if you are just dipping your toes into the privacy debate or simply looking for a quick overview of the history of privacy, this article is definitely worth a read.
The New York Times: The Battle for Digital Privacy is Reshaping the Internet (September 2021).
In this The New York Times article, Brian X. Chen addresses what he sees as an ongoing shift away from personal data being used as a currency in the online world. He argues that digital privacy concerns have been growing in recent years, citing Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal and the creation of the European General Protection Regulation (GDPR) as evidence of such.
In this piece, Chen explains how advertising is the ‘lifeblood’ of today’s internet in a clear, beginner-friendly manner. He then dives into what he understands as a ‘battle for digital privacy’. Chen describes how Apple is keen on implementing rapid, wide-ranging measures to protect users’ digital privacy while other Big-Tech giants such as Meta (Facebook) and Google seem less eager to do so.
This divergence, he argues, may end up leading to a divide in how users experience the internet and, indeed, on how much privacy they are granted. A timely, simple and relevant read – don’t hesitate to check it out.
Author: Ana Luiza Loio Becil
Image: Jonas Leupe via Unsplash