The right to privacy (or effective lack thereof) is at the root of many of our core ethical dilemmas in tech today. The erosion of privacy rights began with the development of adtech and went on to enable the collection of big data that powers behavior algorithms and many invasive business models today. It transformed the optimistic tech enthusiasm of the late 20th/early 21st century into the resigned pessimism many have now.
Though we at PF love exploring solutions and alternatives around what *to* do, this topic is about the awareness of transgression and defense - what *not* to do and why and how to fight it. It’s often harder to counter-message and mobilize for this. It comes on incrementally with much rationalization. It’s only clear after the fact when it has become powerful and embedded, after much has already been lost, and at that point it feels too late.
But in looking at who is fighting for privacy and how, an ecosystem emerges counter to the funders and management steering big tech whose primary goal is global market domination. These other voices - the critical practitioners, activists, organizers, academics, researchers, journalists, nonprofits, futurists and vlogger enthusiasts more aligned with our interests - warrant more attention as they can help us process what’s happening and figure out what to do next.