I've changed institutions! And more!
Your essays about the pandemic are definitely Pulitzer quality - I'm betting you saved a lot of people a lot of grief (let alone death!) with your "insightful, often prescient, columns" that were so much more useful, consistent, and understandable than what 'official' sources were providing. Kudos to you and congrats on tenure at Columbia! Also, your NYTimes article should be required reading for anyone who thinks our surveillance culture is no big deal - again, useful and understandable even to the tech-adjacent.
Congratulations on the opportunity at Columbia. Pulitzer is the best! As we often hear, just getting nominated is a big deal. Winning is validating on some level. Learning from you is the prize and I hope your students realize it in the moments they have with you.
Congratulations on the move.
Sure wish I knew how to amplify the message re privacy vs technology.
Wonderful news! Congratulations!!!
Congrats on such well deserved recognition and appreciation.
You continue to be a leading light on a number of the most critical issues of our time. As a beneficiary of your work I am consistently struck by how tangibly helpful your inisghts have been in my life, and that of my broader community, in specifics and in general.
The focus and prioritization is inspiring as well.
Enjoyed the casual "What’s needed, for all Americans, is a full legal and political reckoning with the reckless manner in which digital technology has been allowed to invade our lives." Ha! Yeah.
congrats on your new tenure and the Pulitzer nomination. Both well deserved. Your new essay feels straight out of a Black Mirror episode or Soylent Green (depicted to take place in 2022).
Congrats on being a Pulitzer finalist! I’m sure you’ll be missed at UNC. Columbia was very wise to give you tenure!
Have you been in touch with Tristan Harris at the Center for Humane Technology? I’m certain you’d both benefit from each other’s expertise.
Heartfelt congratulations. With no disrespect to our friends in North Carolina, Columbia has a wonderful department. I was worked over the years with Saskia Sassen, for whom I have the highest regard. You also would have a greater platform for amplifying your important voice. Very happy for you.
I would love to see a public back-and-forth (maybe with some format like that of letter.wiki?) on privacy between you and David Brin. His book _The Transparent Society_ remains my reference point for the contrarian argument that we should give up on protecting privacy and focus on leveling the playing field by removing institutional (government and corporate) secrecy instead. 25 years on, I wonder how he'd say its arguments hold up in the face of the developments you lay out in your op-ed.
I keep wondering: what is the political theory of change that makes it easier to enact privacy protections than more direct protections for the liberties that privacy helps us defend? I find it hard to believe, for example, that a political force strong enough to protect privacy wouldn't also be strong enough to protect abortion rights. But if you can securely protect abortion rights, you make that use case for privacy less important. And similar logic holds for other cases: "I should be able to do X without other people finding out and punishing me for it" is a problem you can solve either by privacy legislation or by legislation against the punishment, the constituencies for those two types of legislation are typically about the same, and it's not clear the former is the better option.
Congratulations on your new position (with tenure!) at Columbia and your Pulitzer nomination. Both are well deserved … overdue, in my view.
While I admire your optimism about finding an equilibrium between surveillance-based technology and human autonomy, it strikes me as reasonable only in a time frame measured in generations. Over the past forty years, concentrated economic power has transformed America from a country committed to social and economic progress to one that protects capital at all costs. The insurrection and pandemic might have brought the country together for mutual benefit, but we continue to unravel.
A functioning democracy would not allow corporations to profit from causing social harm, but that is where we are. The administration, Congress, federal agencies, and the law enforcement continue to treat internet platforms as if they are exempt from the law. Business models that undermine public health, democracy, human autonomy, competition, and national security are considered legitimate.
Thank you for all you do. Twitter and Tear Gas inspired my activism.
With greatest appreciation,
Technological time moves far faster than political time.
Unfortunately, our congresscritters and high officials like what's going on. They get big donations from the tech companies and/or plush sinecures after leaving office. A good example is all of the retired generals and spooks who populate the boards of weapons makers and also get to pontificate and lie to us as pundits on news shows.
As important as the issue of privacy is, I don't think it gets nearly enough exposure, even by those who know the truth and want to change it, like you. I don't recall any survey that indicates a high level of concern about privacy when things like inflation, war, poor wages, etc., are taking everyone's attention. I'm not sure what would help, but something needs to be done, and soon.
You forgot to mention two important points - 1) limiting the role of government- on all fronts - and btw that would be aligned with our constitution. It’s too bad that never occurs to the left and to the right only when it comes to the economy. It’s the cause of most of our modern ills. 2) tech has its dark side especially in the hands of the government but it can also provide better solutions for reproductive health - morning after pill, contraception are prime examples - so women can greatly control/lessen their need for the eventuality of abortion
Congratulations on the move and I hope our city can offer you enough outside of work to make it feel worth it. This particular piece reminds me once again that the key to all this data is that we currently don't own it ourselves nor have any rights to it. Andrew Yang had this as one of his major issues in his failed run for the presidency, but we need other politicians to be aware of just how important this is to our collective future.
Just read your Privacy piece in the NYT today. Is this a problem that could be solved if the default were that we owned our own data? That we'd have to compensated for the use of our data, since we are the producers. One might argue that we are "paid" in terms of access to the service itself; that FB for example lets us use its the platform "for free" but in reality the payment is that we hand over our data.