The Age of Innocence

Online privacy and the illusion of intimacy

Image courtesy of RdigitaLIFE

In a recent study, Avner Levin found that most people won’t pay $1 to protect their privacy online. This is especially true of young people, who believe that what they post and share on the Internet is kept within the border of their friends. But this illusion of intimacy presents unexpected challenges, when, says Forbes privacy columnist Kashmir Hill, “everything is two clicks away from going viral, all the time.” And as law professor Danielle Citron points out, 90 percent of employers now Google job candidates before an interview.


  • Danielle Citron, professor of law, University of Maryland (@DANIELLECITRON)
  • Steph Guthrie, founder, Women in Toronto Politics (@amirightfolks)
  • Kashmir Hill, privacy columnist, Forbes (@kashhill)
  • Avner Levin, director, Privacy & Cyber Crime Institute, Ryerson University
  • Jules Polonetsky, director, Future of Privacy Forum (@JulesPolonetsky)
  • Clay Shirky, author, Here Comes Everybody (@cshirky)


  • Host, producer, and writer: Ramona Pringle
  • Director of photography: Lisa Lightbourn Lay
  • Motion graphics: Olney Atwell
  • Post supervisor: Wil Noack
  • Post-production assistants: Dylan Morgan, Ian Holland
  • B-roll camera: Eric Sleeth, Joey Ferguson, and Luke Nater
  • Field camera: Jefferson Wright
  • Editorial assistants/social media: Marie Alcober, Ishani Nath
  • Content manager: Martin Waxman
  • Special thanks: Charles Falzon, Gerd Hauck, Val Fox, Sheldon Levy, Ben Peto

Join The Walrus and RdigitaLIFE as we explore some of the biggest issues in privacy—from surveillance to revenge porn to the social bargain that we enter into every time we go online. During this week and the next, @walrusmagazine and @RdigitaLIFE will be co-hosting several privacy-related Twitter chats, organized around the hashtag #rprivatelife. Please follow both feeds for more information.

Ramona Pringle and RdigitaLIFE
RdigitaLIFE is an independent project, based at Toronto’s Ryerson University, that explores human interactions with technology.