There are many new privacy laws, tens of thousands of privacy professionals and new privacy offices all tasked with protecting our privacy from inside the information industry. So why does our privacy seem more out of reach than ever?
Join Associate Professor Jonathon Penney (Osgoode Hall Law School, York University) on Nov. 18 at 12:30 p.m. as he speaks with Professor Ari Ezra Waldman (Northeastern University) about his latest book, Industry Unbound: The Inside Story of Privacy, Data, and Corporate Power. Based on countless interviews with tech employees, Waldman’s book provides an unprecedented account of how tech companies undermine privacy from the inside.
Sunglasses that spy, in-home assistants that listen to everything, websites that track our every move online. These aren’t accidents. The system is working just as it’s designed to work. In Industry Unbound: The Inside Story of Privacy, Data, and Corporate Power (Cambridge University Press, 2021), Waldman exposes exactly how the tech industry conducts its ongoing crusade to undermine our privacy, undermine privacy law and subjugate us all in the process.
Based on nearly four years of research (interviews, observations, embedded fieldwork and reviews of confidential documents), Industry Unbound shows that tech companies do not just lobby against privacy law, they also manipulate how we, their employees and policymakers, think about privacy, how their engineers design new technologies, and how their privacy professionals – regardless of their good intentions – are manipulated and co-opted into serving industry’s surveillance goals.
While many claim that privacy law is getting stronger, Industry Unbound shows otherwise, and argues recent changes in privacy laws are exactly the kinds of changes that corporations want, with even those who consider themselves privacy advocates often unknowingly complicit in data extraction.
Waldman (he/him) is a professor of law and computer science and faculty director of the Center for Law, Information, and Creativity at Northeastern University. He researches the ways in which law and technology reify traditional structures of power, with particular focus on privacy, law and society, civil rights and the LGBTQ+ community. He has written two books and published nearly 30 scholarly articles in leading law reviews and peer-reviewed journals, including the Michigan Law Review, the California Law Review, the Cornell Law Review, and Law & Social Inquiry, among others.