Why should you care about protecting your privacy online? Tech critic Carissa Véliz says it’s not just a matter of personal preference: It’s a civic duty.
Véliz, associate professor at the Institute for Ethics in AI at the University of Oxford, is the author of “Privacy Is Power: Why and How You Should Take Back Control of Your Data,” which blends philosophical insight and practical advice. Véliz says that guarding your privacy promotes something akin to digital herd immunity. Many companies claim that the more data they have, the better their products will be, but Véliz argues that this personal data ultimately gets transformed into something toxic, which society should regulate much like asbestos. Last year The Economist called “Privacy Is Power” one of the best books of the year, on any subject.
You argue many companies don’t just want our information to make money but aim to gain and leverage power. What power are they after?