The Atlantic podcast Crazy/Genius returns to explain how privacy became the most important idea on the internet—and why it’s still so confusing. […]
“I think privacy is the wrong way to describe the issue we face in a world of pervasive unregulated data collection,” says Julia Angwin, a longtime investigative reporter. She prefers another term: data pollution.
“I’ve long felt that the issue we call privacy is very similar to the issue we call environmentalism,” she says. “It’s pervasive. It’s invisible. Attribution is hard. Even if you get cancer, you don’t know if it’s from that chemical plant down the road. Living in a world where all of your data is collected and swept up in these dragnets all the time and will be used against you in a way that you will probably never be able to trace and you will never know about it feels like that same type of collective harm.” […]