The Data Bargain

When we interact on social networking sites and email, we trade privacy for a hit of the brain’s “cuddle” chemical. What’s gained and lost in the deal?

Image courtesy of RdigitaLIFE

Google knows what information you’re looking for, Amazon knows what book you should read next, and Facebook can suggest new friends you should connect with. But is there a catch to all of this convenience? “People will trade away their privacy for convenience,” says author, lawyer, and First Amendment scholar Marvin Ammori, a fellow of the New America Foundation. “Just a few companies have control over the content we access, the views we see, the people we communicate with.”

Guests

  • Marvin Ammori, author, On Internet Freedom (@ammori)
  • Ann Cavoukian, Information and Privacy Commissioner, Ontario (@ipcinfoprivacy)
  • Kashmir Hill, privacy columnist, Forbes (@kashhill)
  • Jules Polonetsky, director, Future of Privacy Forum (@JulesPolonetsky)

Credits

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

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Jennifer Hollett I have been digging into the pages of The Walrus Summer Reading issue and remarking at all of the contributions from our former and current Fellows. It reminds me that every issue of The Walrus is a result of a culmination of efforts (including lengthy fact-checking) from the editorial team, the emerging journalists they train, and the generous supporters who make all of this happen.

Through The Walrus Editorial Fellowship Program, we have the privilege of training the next generation of professionals who are passionate about the integrity of journalism. In the Summer Reading issue, 2021 Cannonbury Fellow Connor Garel wrote a piece on Frankie Perez and the art of breaking. Tajja Isen contributed an excerpt from her first book, Some of my Best Friends. Isen, who also began her career at The Walrus as a Cannonbury Fellow, is currently Editor-in-Chief at Catapult magazine.

Our 2022 Chawkers Fellow, Mashal Butt, was instrumental in making sure we got the facts straight in our Summer Reading issue, having fact-checked six features, including Sarah Totton’s short story “The Click.” And, you can look forward to a cover story on housing affordability by our 2022 Justice Fund Writer in Residence, JS Rutgers. (Rutgers is now a climate reporter for The Narwhal.)

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With gratitude,

Jennifer Hollett
Executive Director, The Walrus