Episode 420
Apr 27, 2021

The pandemic all but killed privacy. It’s not too late to bring it back.

HTML EMBED:
COPY
The state of online privacy is grim, according to Harvard professor emeritus Shoshana Zuboff, but the public appetite for regulation has never been higher.

Despite being ensconced in our homes for more than a year, we do not have a lot of privacy.

In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic has entrenched the yearslong erosion of our privacy, according to Harvard professor emeritus Shoshana Zuboff. Powerful tech companies were already doing big business with our data. Now they’re providing the tools essential for school, work, even getting the vaccine.

“If you look at the ways that the companies have really been able to … drive the these huge increases in their market capitalization over this past year-and-a-half,” Zuboff said. “The very first one is just the expansion of business as usual.”

On today’s show, we’ll talk about the threats to our privacy with Zuboff, author of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism.” It may not be our most uplifting interview, but Zuboff says there’s a reason to hopeful: Living online has sharply increased public concern about data privacy and lawmakers’ appetite for regulating Big Tech.

“Their audacity, their invasiveness has poked the sleeping giant of democracy one too many times,” she said, adding: “Everything is in play now in a way that it hasn’t been for two decades.”

Later in the show, we’ll get some listener thoughts on reparations and Dogecoin, plus a capsule history of the bulldozer.

When you’re done listening, tell your Echo device to “make me smart” for our daily explainers. This week we’re explaining electric vehicles, farmers markets and ketchup. And don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter! You can find the latest issue here.

Here’s what we talked about today:

Finally: We need your voice memos! Tell us what you think of the show or ask a question for Kai Ryssdal and Molly Wood to answer! Here’s how to do it.

None of us is as smart as all of us.

No matter how bananapants your day is, “Make Me Smart” is here to help you through it all— 5 days a week.

It’s never just a one-way conversation. Your questions, reactions, and donations are a vital part of the show. And we’re grateful for every single one.

Donate any amount to become a Marketplace Investor and help make us smarter (and make us smile!) every day.

The team

Molly Wood Host
Donna Tam Interim Senior Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Marissa Cabrera Producer
Bridget Bodnar Senior producer